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Microsoft CEO claims Zune market share, laughs at iPhone

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2007
News Categories: Digital Media

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claims that his company’s Zune media player took 20% of the high-end digital audio player market—those devices priced $249 or above—following its debut in November. Ballmer’s estimates compare to those of the NPD Group, which said this month that the Zune accounted for only 2.8% of the total digital audio player market in the five-week period from Nov. 19 to Dec. 23.

“We came into the market, a market in which they are very strong, and we took, I don’t know, but I think most estimates would say we took about 20-25% of the high end of the market,” Ballmer said in a CNBC interview. “We weren’t down at some of the lower price points, but for devices $249 and over we took, you know, let’s say about 20% of the market. So, I feel like we’re in the game, we’re driving our innovation hard and, uh, okay, we’re not the incumbent, he’s the incumbent in this game, but at the end of the day, he’s going to have to keep up an agenda that we’re gonna drive as well.”

Characteristically, Ballmer also laughed at Apple’s iPhone and its premium pricing. “$500 full-subsidized with a plan! I said that is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers because it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine,” Ballmer said. “Now, it may sell very well or not, I, you know. We have our strategy, we’ve got great Windows Mobile devices in the market today. You can get a Motorola Q phone now for $99, it’s a very capable machine, it’ll do music, it’ll do Internet, it’ll do email, it’ll do instant messaging. So, I kinda look at that and I say, well, I like our strategy. I like it a lot.”

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Comments

21

Ballmer is a real spinster. I like how he and Gates are taking these shots at Apple lately.
It shows how sick they are of hearing the Apple (insert product here) and how great it is or will be.
MS is a sloth lead by a slug of a person. He lies and will do anything to get he car off the lot.
Uncle FUDster strikes again.

Posted by Bizarro Ballmer on January 18, 2007 at 2:04 PM (PDT)

22

No matter what anyone says about Steve Ballmer, one particular video clip (Developers, developers, developers, developers!) basically justifies the man’s continued presence in the industry. Anyone capable of providing source material for something so entertaining should be listened to, if only to be aggressively sampled and set to a driving beat.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 18, 2007 at 2:17 PM (PDT)

23

Balmer is right about the failings of the iPhone. He is wrong about which phone is superior.  The best multifunction device really is the BLACKBERRY!!!!


Hate all you want fanboys.

Posted by mohan on January 18, 2007 at 2:18 PM (PDT)

24

Denial soothes the guilty conscience.

Posted by Wednesday on January 18, 2007 at 3:09 PM (PDT)

25

”... it’s a very capable machine, it’ll do music, it’ll do Internet, it’ll do email, it’ll do instant messaging….”


I can walk on my hands too… but that dont make me any good at it.  If the iPhone is anything like the rest of the Apple lineup, it will proove to be a well designed tool that will work for those who choose quality.

Posted by Guano Man on January 18, 2007 at 3:12 PM (PDT)

26

developers developers developers developers great video¡¡¡
and this man is ceos of ms????  long life to mac

Posted by Gonzalo on January 18, 2007 at 3:18 PM (PDT)

27

The Zune reminds me of the Nintendo 64.  I knew they existed, but never met anyone that actually owned one (or at least admitted to it).

Yeah, but the difference is N64 has some people that still actually like it.

Posted by Multimoog on January 18, 2007 at 3:25 PM (PDT)

28

“You can get a Motorola Q phone now for $99, it’s a very capable machine, it’ll do music, it’ll do Internet, it’ll do email, it’ll do instant messaging. So, I kinda look at that and I say, well, I like our strategy. I like it a lot.” ”

um…yeah runs Windows so that is a dumb statement.

I want an iPhone but I am not switching to Cingular.

Oh well….

Posted by Whitney on January 18, 2007 at 3:28 PM (PDT)

29

I’m *highly* doubtful of the 20% marketshare claim for the Zune.  The Zune’s really not that bad (not great either) but there’s no way they sold that many.

Many of the knocks on the iPhone are valid, but that doesn’t change the fact that his comments make him sound, as always, like a douchebag.

Posted by neilw on January 18, 2007 at 3:48 PM (PDT)

30

Ballmer reminds me of George W.
..
at least rhetorically.

Posted by C. on January 18, 2007 at 4:14 PM (PDT)

31

Apple sells it like it’s sex.  Microsoft sells it like it’s a chore.

Best comparison ever.

Seriously, this Microsoft dude is totally protesting too much.  Kind of like a bratty child insisting they’re the best when clearly they aren’t.

Posted by Easy Button on January 18, 2007 at 4:24 PM (PDT)

32

Does he forget that a certain phone that is everywhere use to retail for $499? The RAZR was $499 for at least a year before it started falling in price.

Posted by Hayes on January 18, 2007 at 4:32 PM (PDT)

33

It must be nice to make millions and live in a total fantasy world devoid of reality like Ballmer does.

Posted by lancetx on January 18, 2007 at 4:50 PM (PDT)

34

“And sure those other devices can do internet and email, but can they do it as well as the iPhone? I don’t think they can.”

Prove it.

What?  You can’t?  Because the iPhone isn’t out yet and you’ve never used it to access the Internet?

Wow.

Posted by stark23x on January 18, 2007 at 4:58 PM (PDT)

35

The iPhone being better than a WM5 pocket pc? We’ll see in June. I doubt Windows Mobile will take a huge it from the iPhone. Danger/T-Mobile’s Sidekick 3 on the other hand…..

Posted by rockbox on January 18, 2007 at 6:39 PM (PDT)

36

What he meant was that the Zune stole 20% of the high-end digital media players market share from MICROSOFT EMPLOYEES.  Let’s tell the truth here.

—-Rob

Posted by Robin-David Buckhouse on January 18, 2007 at 7:17 PM (PDT)

37

I think Steve is starting to smoke his own dope.  20% of the market in what 2 months, give me a break!!!! I live in South Florida, I take public transportation and drop my daughter of at school in the morning, haven’t seen a single Zune yet, anywhere. 

Mark my words on this day, Steve Ballmer will be the death of Microsoft.

Posted by JRB on January 18, 2007 at 7:24 PM (PDT)

38

How can Zune have 20% of market for players over $249? Let say thay sold 300.000 Zunes.
That would meen Apple and other sold only 1.500.000 players in that price range which I find hard to believe.

Posted by radek on January 18, 2007 at 7:36 PM (PDT)

39

I’m sort of offended. I’ve only met two people with a Zune. You wouldn’t believe how many people got iPods for christmas. EVERYONE. Seriously. I’m in highschool and everyone has either a cheap mp3 player or an iPod. The one boy I do know that has a Zune is like oddball out. The screen is nice in person, but the actual player isn’t close to the almost perfect iPod. And 20%? I need to see these figures calculated in front of me. That sounds impossible. It’s okay though. He knows he sounds stupid. That’s why he stubmles over his words and repeats himself.

Posted by ddsd on January 18, 2007 at 7:42 PM (PDT)

40

the more you apple fans hate the zune, the better it is. You hate it sooooo much because you fear it.  It’s just better than the ipod.  face it.

Posted by Gino on January 18, 2007 at 9:01 PM (PDT)

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