Just a few days ago, there were many rumors on behalf of Apple’s old iDevices: the iPod Classic and the iPod Shuffle. These rumors were in regards to the “end of production” for these products. In addition, Microsoft also had some rumors about ending the production of their mp3 player, the Zune (or Zune HD). It turns out that those rumors were true and that Microsoft will be opting out of the mp3 player industry.
Before we move on to this topic, let’s take a look at the specs for the Zune HD. The Zune HD was released on September 15, 2009 and came with a 16, 32, and 64GB version. It came with a 3.7 V 660 mAh battery with a Nvidia Tegra APX 2600 processor. As for the display and graphics, it supported a 480 x 272 OLED display with a multi-touch touchscreen display. One thing that made the Zune HD unique: the HDMI port and HD Radio, hence the name “Zune HD”.
Microsoft has contemplated about this issue for quite some time and they confirmed the rumor few days ago. The Zune HD has reached its mark and will not seek another upgrade; instead, Windows Phone will take over their handheld market and hopefully recoup their losses with the new Windows 8 platform. As of now, the Windows 8 platform in still in alpha sequence and in developer’s preview.
The following statement was addressed on behalf of the change of plans:
We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players. So what does this mean for our current Zune users? Absolutely nothing. Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today. And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices. Customer service has been, and will remain a top priority for us.
Microsoft ensures that current Zune users that are currently under a warranty will remain under warranty. However there is one issue which may affect some Zune users. Microsoft also stated that they were discontinuing the production of Zune HD hardware. This means that if a Zune user later redeems their warranty for their Zune device, Microsoft may no longer carry the parts to repair or replace their Zune because of the halt of production for those parts.
In a broad perspective, this just proves that Apple’s multimedia player, the iPod Touch, has succeeded in sales and popularity. Although the iPod Touch and the iPhone still lack a HDMI port, that has not stopped Apple from dominating the market. AT&T alone sold more than 1 million iPhone 4S units within the first 24 hours of pre-order. Apple has taken the mobile industry and has held it for quite a while. Microsoft Zune’s future was not a clear one and with the promotion of their phone line, perhaps they may rise again.