Microsoft’s share of the music player market is continuing to climb, according to preliminary details of a new study published by market researchers NPD. The group notes that the lone 30GB Zune held 11.3 percent of the US market for hard disk-based players in May, a modest but significant increase from the 9.9 percent seen in January.
Reasons were not given but the increase in sales is widely believed to be the result of both special edition pink, red, and Halo 3 Zunes as well as store discounts over the course of the spring, which dropped prices to as low as $199 at some large retailers.
Microsoft is still officially on track to sell 1 million players by the end of this month but has declined providing specific numbers, saying only that it has averaged 10 percent in recent months.
The percentage likely keeps Microsoft in second place both for hard drive players and potentially the US portable media player market as a whole, which is known to be led by Apple and is dominated primarily by smaller and usually less expensive flash-based devices. Full statistics for the market are expected to come soon but have yet to be published, NPD says.