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11/14/2006
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Zune Sales No Sellout

Microsoft's portable music player moved up to as high as No. 6 on Amazon.com's top seller list for electronics, behind the iPod and iPod Nano.

Microsoft's Zune sparked some interest among online consumers in its debut Tuesday, but the portable music player fell far short of sparking a buying frenzy.

Zune, which is going head-to-head against Apple Computer's market leading iPod, moved up to as high as No. 6 on Amazon.com's top seller list for electronics, behind the iPod and iPod Nano, a smaller version of the digital player. The iPod was consistently No. 2.

The number of online searches for Zune showed some consumer interest during its first day of sales. But again, it fell short of the iPod.

"The iPod is head and shoulders above, when it comes to the volume of searches," said Matt Tatham, a spokesman for Web metrics firm Hitwise.

The IPod accounted for 0.018% of all U.S. searches, while Zune represented 0.0034%. Tatham, however, said search was not directly connected to sales. "It's an indicator, but I wouldn't say there's a direct correlation," he said. "Search terms are just an indicator of what people are interested in."

Analysts did not expect Zune to cause a buyer stampede similar to Sony's launch last weekend of its PlayStation 3 video console in Japan. The video game sell-out launch has been followed by prices on Internet auctions that ranged up to four times the retail price.

Zune, on the other hand, is expected to take market share gradually, first from device makers other than Apple.

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