IPod still tops as Zune flops
SEATTLE – On Amazon.com’s daily Top 10 selling list for electronics
yesterday, seven of the 10 products were digital media players – but the
Microsoft Zune was nowhere to be found, the Dow Jones newswire reports.
The 30-gigabyte Zune player from Microsoft, which retails for US$249, had
been on the Top 10 list for several days after its US release on November
14, but then dropped off.
Yesterday the most popular model of the Zune, the black version, was listed
at No. 76. The player is also available in white and an uncool,
less-than-stellar selling brown.
The Top 10 digital media players on the included six iPods from top-seller
Apple Computer and one MP3 player from SanDisk.
The 30-gigabyte iPod also has a US$249 list price and was ranked No. 1
yesterday. Other iPods were placed 2, 4, 6, 7 and 9, with a Canon PowerShot
camera at No. 3, and the SanDisk Sansa player at No 5.
Reviews of the Zune in the mainstream and electronics media, as well as
blogs, have been lacklustre. Sighed industry analyst Robert Enderle: “The
product (Zune) wasn’t particularly attractive. At the end of the day, you
put it on a shelf and it just didn’t compare.”
Charles Brown, a Best Buy store manager in Detroit, said shoppers were being
turned off by the Zune’s size, saying it’s too thick and too big compared
with the iPod. Few sales assistants are recommending it, US reports say.
Sydneysiders to get free Wi-Fi
SYDNEY – With the NSW election approaching, Premier Morris Iemma yesterday
jumped aboard the free Internet access bandwagon, offering to bring wireless
broadband to city streets in the near future. And in Perth, WA Premier Alan
Carpenter unveiled plans for a state-wide high-speed broadband network (see
In Sydney – where the Labor Government goes to the polls in March – Iemma
yesterday said the Government planned to establish universal coverage of
wireless broadband in the following areas: Sydney CBD (including North
Sydney), the suburbs of Parramatta, Penrith and Liverpool; and Newcastle,
Wollongong and Gosford.
The NSW Department of Commerce is expected to issue a request for
expressions of interest for the project in January, two months ahead of the
“Universal access to wireless broadband in our CBDs will further boost the
state’s economy and make NSW more attractive for expanding all new
businesses,” Iemma said.
Commerce Minister John Della Bosca said it was likely that a “basic”
service, possibly supported by advertising, would be free, with higher
speeds and greater download allowances available to paying customers.
Iemma also said the Government would set up an Innovation Council and
secretariat to look at ways of improving the innovation capacity of buyers
in key industry sectors, including logistics and transaction services,
financial services, entertainment, design and media, manufacturing and
resources. The Government would also establish an institute for advanced
research in finance.
– Sydney wouldn’t be the first Australian capital to get free Internet
access. Adelaide already has a free network of more than 40 Wi-Fi hotspots
giving coverage to most of the CBD, North Adelaide and the new Adelaide
Airport terminal (though it’s blocked from the Qantas Club). The service is
the result of a partnership between the Adelaide City Council and SA-based
ISP Internode, which plans to boost coverage to 140 hotspots by June 2007
Nintendo scores hit on PS3
NEW YORK – Nintendo’s Wii may be the underdog in the battle between the new
generations of games consoles – but it seems to be turning out a winner with
Nintendo has scored in the marketplace by having better supply than Sony’s
PlayStation 3. But it is also scoring votes among consumers for lower
pricing and innovation.
Sony is estimated to have shipped between 125,000 and 175,000 PS3s to US
stores. Nintendo has shipped round 600,000 in just eight days: including
sales of accessories and games, Nintendo’s Wii-related revenue has hit
$US190 million since the machine’s November 19 release.
Among dedicated gamers, about 49pc of online discussions have been
favourable to Wii, compared with 27pc for PS3, reports New Media Strategies.
Says the firm’s Sam Huxley: “The [Sony] hype machine went too far.”