The Zune, Microsoft’s fledgling competitor to the Apple iPod, has been culled by the US division of Gamestop before it has even reached Irish or British shores.
The video game store cited lack of appeal as the reason for deciding to discontinue stocking the MP3 player.
While the Apple iPod has sold well over 100 million units since its release in November 2001, the Zune, which went on sale in the US five years later in November 2006, has not managed to break the Apple monopoly, selling just two million units in its year and a half on the market.
However, the Microsoft Zune has been considerably updated in the past year with features the iPod does not have, including ‘extended wireless sharing’ or the ability to swap your music collection wirelessly with other Zune users, in comparison to music on the iPod which is locked in by Apple.
Microsoft also created Zune Social, a social networking site based around sharing and discovering new songs and videos with other in the community and downloading both paid for music and free podcasts from recording artists.
While Gamestop has shown its lack of interest, several US retail partners remain, says director of marketing for the Zune, Adam Sohn, citing megastores Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target.
While a 13 June release date is on the cards for Canada, it is rumoured the third-generation Zune is already in the pipeline and will make its debut in Europe, as well as the US.
By Marie Boran
Pictured: the latest Zune range