NPD: Apple iPod held 72% share of PMP market in December; Microsoft Zune had 2.8% share

“Apple Inc. sold a record 21 million iPods for the holiday quarter, which helped boost the company’s revenues by 50% and accounted for sales of $3.43 billion–half of Apple’s total sales for the quarter, the company reported this week,” Emily Burg reports in an updated article for MediaPost’s MarketingDaily.

Burg reports, “Stellar sales have earned the iPod a 72% share of the portable music player market. Microsoft’s Zune, meanwhile, recorded 2.8% of the market for December, and 10.2% of all 30GB hard drive models sold, according to retail research firm NPD Group.”

A note at the bottom of Burg’s article states, “This article was modified after the original publication to correct the market share figures.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: It’s good to see Burg’s original article corrected. Note that NPD does not report sales from Apple Retail Stores, the Apple Store online, Wal-Mart, or Amazon, among others. Add those retail outlets’ sales into the mix and one could reasonably assume that Apple’s iPod share is actually quite a bit larger and the Zune’s share quite a bit lower than NPD’s figures of 72% and 2.8% respectively. Due to limited reporting, the actual NPD market share numbers aren’t nearly as important as the trends they show; Apple’s iPod share as measured by NPD is up 36.4% year-over-year.

Related articles:
NPD: Zune sees ‘10.2%’ share of music player market in Dec., no word on post-Xmas returns [UPDATED] – January 19, 2007
NPD: Apple iPod gains market share over holidays, up 36% year-over-year – January 03, 2007


  1. Incredible! Exactly as I predicted. My post on the original article questioned the 10.2%, as perhaps referring only to HD MP3 players, or more likely just 30Gig HD MP3 players, just as has been corrected; otherwise, the numbers and percentages just don’t make any sense.

  2. The numbers still look rather odd! When you look at 2.8%, it implies that 27.5% of the MP3 player market is composed of 30Gig models. Seems a bit high to me. Also, it implies that of the 29million MP3 players sold, 8million are 30Gig models, and that 800k were Zunes. Those numbers still seem high.

  3. Does anyone care about the Zune? It’s a flop and everyone knows it. The only people still talking about that dog is… us!

    And what’s with Zune Tang? He’s a comedian, right? Nobody could possibly be that seriously deluded. I’m sure he thinks he’s funny and possibly even ironic – like a nerd performance artist. I just think he’s boring. Same joke over and over again.

  4. Ballmer was able to twist the facts by choosing his words carefully. I believe he said something like, “Some estimates…blah blah blah”.

    Right, and “some estimates” show that Jessica Alba will appear naked at my front door some night soon.

  5. There is some faulty analysis going on here. Apple sold 21m iPods WORLDWIDE. The NPD figures I believe apply only to the US. As we already know, they also exclude places like Apple stores and Amazon.

    So, you can’t take the 21m figure and Apple’s 72% share and calculate the market was 29m MP3 players, and then work back to the number of Zunes!

    Remember also that Zune is sold only in the US. If it was 10% of the global market, then that would imply a much higher percentage of the US market.

    If I had to make a back-of-the-envelope guess, it would be that (based on Apple’s sales in the US being less than 50% of total worldwide sales), Apple sold around 10m of it’s 21m iPods in the US in that period. If that 72% and 2.8% is correct (my guess is Apple sells a LOT through its own stores and Amazon), then the overall market is 13.8m in the US, and Zune would have sold around 380,000. If NPD’s numbers had quantities rather than just %, then we could do this more accurately. I would still think that the 380,000 number is too high given Amazon and Apple store performance, and given that I hear zero reports of Zune’s being seen in the wild.

    There’s your stats lesson for the day. Make sure you know exactly what is being measured. And, my US friends, don’t forget the big wide rest of the world out there!

  6. According to quantum theory, there IS a non-zero chance that Jessica Alba will show up naked at your door!

    In all honesty, Apple’s NPD marketshare is up quite a bit because Apple kept the channel much better supplied this year. That said, Apple’s own channel is non-trivial and Apple has to have a total share of 75-80%. And ALL those people have their content in iTunes. Which, although not a LOCK-in, it does require effort and motivation to switch.

    But hey, all of BillyG’s horses and all of MonkeyBoy’s men and 100s of millions of dollars make MS quite the formidable foe for Creative in the non-iPod, hard drive market. And in the non-iPod,hard drive based market, Microsoft is

    Oh great job guys, you’re huge marketing effort beat that Gigabeat!!!

  7. I thought that Steve Ballmer said that the Zune had 20% market share of the high end … not likely … if they have 10% of 30gb space that means that they probably have 5-6% of large hard drive market … Go Monkeyboy ….

    Still this is more than I had thought. They must have sold 1 million or so units by now, which is not bad for the Zune. Too bad that they do not have iTunes MS or AppleTV or iPhone. The key to this market is Compliments … just like it is software and peripherals for the PC … iPod has all the accessories you could imagine … zune has not so many.


    Magic Word “effort” as in “good effort M$”

  8. “Too bad that they do not have iTunes MS or AppleTV or iPhone. “


    iTunes MS = Zune MS
    AppleTV = Windows Media Center Extender
    iPhone = Windows Mobile 5

    In two of the three examples you give, MS already has a substantial lead in the market compared to Apple, and Apple is the one copying and playing catch up.

  9. So MS gets 10% of the market they currently play in with the much maligned Zune 1.0.

    That’s about the same as they get with V1.0 of any product. When Zune 2.0 hits the streets, with all Zune 1.0 criticisms fixed, where will Apple be?

  10. Why the bloody hell do they actually bring out V1.0 then? Why don’t THEY do the betatesting??? Next thing you know M$/MS (as you prefer) will bring out no more than a box with a CD-ROM containing merely a key and a text file saying “visit our site and download the actual software”…
    And then everybody wonders why more and more people switch to Macs or Linux???

  11. Quite frankly, here in Belgium, I haven’t seen any Zune advertising, let alone an actual Zune. All I know is that it’s yet a failed product by Microsoft, mainly because people don’t like their crap outside of the computer market…

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.