Spotted in what looks like Best Buy’s inventory system, Gizmodo is showing the expected price point for Microsoft’s Zune HD handheld. It appears that the 16GB and 32GB models will cost $220 and $290, respectively. There’s no official pricing yet from Microsoft, so the prices could change, pending an announcement from Redmond. I tend to believe they’re spot on though, as PC World noticed these same prices on Amazon’s pre-order page.
Giz notes that these rumored prices compare favorably with Apple’s iPod Touch, which is generally considered the target competitor. A 16GB iPod Touch currently runs $299 while the 32GB model is $399. Considering the brand awareness that Apple has, I think Microsoft has to compete heavily on price — it’s not always about who offers the better technology or most features; marketing and branding is important, too.
But the ZuneHD actually does compete well on technology and features. Like the iPod Touch, it offers a comparable 480×272 multitouch display, but uses Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED), which offer vibrant colors while using less energy. It too includes Wi-Fi and a web browser and it ties in to the Zune Marketplace through the Xbox 360. Microsoft also included an HD Radio receiver and the ability to output high-definition 720p content to an HDTV through an optional dock. The only question remaining my mind — will the Zune HD eventually compete in terms of available applications or is it strictly a portable media player with a browser?
Now that we’re pretty sure on the pricing, does the Zune HD interest you more than it did before? Who’s buying?