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Zune HD selling out?

updated 05:15 pm EDT, Sat September 19, 2009

Zune HD sales very high

Microsoft's Zune HD is already encountering sellouts less than a week into its availability, according to multiple reader reports. At Amazon, the 16GB modelremains in stock but the 32GB version is already facing a one- to three-week shipping delay. Visitors to Fry's see a reverse situation where the 16GB model is out of stock; the worst affected so far is Best Buy, which claims to be "backordered" for either capacity.

Microsoft's own store continues to sell both models without warnings of supply issues.

The cause of the apparent shortage isn't known. Only one widespread shortage is known to have affected the Zune in the past, when in December 2007 the company had low supply of the hard drive-based Zune 80. However, research firm iSuppli at the time believed that Microsoft had triggered the shortage by knowingly shipping a small number of Zune 80s, not expecting its most expensive model to sell in high numbers. That cause is unlikely to be mirrored today as the Zune HD is now Microsoft's only media player and has received a high profile launch that puts pressure on the company to have sufficient stock.

Long term success may be difficult for the touchscreen player. The company's players are inexpensive but are undercut in price at the bottom end by the 8GB iPod touch. It also doesn't have a 64GB player and currently lacks a substantial app platform, a factor that has been considered essential in the success of the iPod touch since the second generation was made available a year ago. Apps on the Zune are currently limited to a small number of free, mostly first-party titles.

By Electronista Staff


  1. sehix

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000


    Selling out

    Set your production levels low enough and you can sell out of just about anything.

  1. pastusza

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 1999


    It may be a better player...

    for music. I've been reading the reviews. It pulls down album art. It pull down artist info! And with the subscription model, you can have it fill the darn thing at no extra cost to you. The touch is probably better overall, but I think real music junkies may prefer the Zune.

  1. joecab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004


    too soon to call

    There's no way to tell what this really means (did MS under-supply? Did stores under-order? Did they have plenty and it's just popular?) until we hear real numbers from the horse's mouth. Of course whatever it sells they'll say it exceeded expectations.

    Me, I'll use my own gauge: when I start seeing people sporting them in public, THEN I'll know if it's popular. I still have not seen a single Zune, ever. Heck, I've even seen 3 Kindles...

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Remember that the Palm Pre

    also had back-order problems. Basically that was due to low production rates and having to spread low inventory over many cities. So, let me know when Zune sales reaches a million and then I can determine how well sales are for the Zune. Forget relating shortages to overwhelming demand. If there are only 20 Zune HDs to a store for sale, initially they may sell out, but let's see how quickly the next 20 Zune HDs per store sell out.

    If MS sells 100,000, I'm sure they'll say they exceeded expectations and they may be actually telling the truth. I'm going to look to see if any people are carrying them, but I'm living in the heart of Apple Central which is the Big Apple and nearly everyone here has iPods.

    The Zune HD may be a perfectly satisfactory music and video player, but without 75,000 apps/games, there is just no way it can compete. Some of the newest games that are coming out for the newest models of iPhones/Touches are just awesome. No way that most people would ignore the iPhone/Touch ecosystem and buy a Zune HD.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Rip a page from Palm for a change


    Learned it from Palm's Pre. Just allocate two units per store and...voilĂ , it's sold out instantly.

  1. LEStudios


    Joined: Jul 2008


    Yeah Stock Inflation Strategy!

    They did this c*** to influence stock trading. I don't know what financial analyst is that naive to believe this though. Apple have sold 220 Million iPods since 2003. 30 Million iPhones within 2 years well as 20 Million iPod Touches. I seen more teenage kids with iPod Touches and Nanos then ever. It takes one kid to go to school with a iPod Touch at the end of the day every kid in the school is going to want one. Now Nano got a camera to record videos? I could care if Microsoft release New Zunes because regardless its still going to be a Apple Christmas again. Since they dropped the price on AppleTV I may get two of those for Christmas.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    More sound better BS

    It's the only thing Zune Fanatics can FUD on the iPod that can be subjective. Guess what the iPod Touch sounds better than the Zune period.

  1. stevesnj

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Apr 2003



    Looks like MS has a winner on their hands.

  1. luckyday

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    Come on

    Ya stocking a store with two units is a great idea. You guys are geniuses. Until there is nothing to sell and no way to generate revenues. Why would microsoft get rid of all other products, only keeping the zune hd, spend promo money, and then put themselves in a position where its impossible to make revenue in the short term? Palm didn't have a choice, they didnt have the funding.

    It's a good product. It has received great revues. There are millions of consumers in the US. Is it that illogical that people will buy it? Especially after a less than average new ipod touch release? People like trying new things. Especially if all their friends have the same thing already.

    Stop being babies. On the bright side, rest assured that the next touch release won't be so pitiful.

  1. joecab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004


    because ...

    A little "sell out" news now is insurance for better sales when it really counts, during the holidays. They may not be seeding each store with just a few units (and if that were the case we would have heard about it) but it doesn't mean they're spitting them out at full capacity. I'm sure Microsoft doesn't want a repeat of the original Zune release where, after brisk initial sales that even topped Amazon's charts, nothing. Or pictures of iPod accessories piled up on top of Zume boxes and displays. Enough with the name calling; stick with the subject at hand.

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