Microsoft cancels Zune HD leaving one last portable HD radio on the market
This week Bloomberg reported that Microsoft will introduce no new versions of its Zune HD portable music device. Conceived as a competitor to Apple’s market-dominating iPod line, the Zune added an HD Radio receiver in 2009, making it one of only two portable HD radios available. The other comes from the Best Buy Insignia house brand, which has a touch-screen making it look like an MP3 player, even though it’s only a radio.It appears that Microsoft will retain the Zune brand which includes a music store platform accessible on the XBox games system and Windows smartphones. But none of those devices includes HD Radio reception.
While iBiquity, owner of the HD Radio technology, cheered the technology’s inclusion in the Zune, it’s doubtful that any significant number of consumers chose a Zune specifically for its HD Radio. Similarly, I doubt many people bought an iPod Nano because of the radio. I’m certain that a small segment of buyers are won over to a model in order to get a radio, but other features are likely a bigger determinant.