Friday, November 16, 2007

Zune 2: Another Paper Launch

Hey, Zune 2 "came out" on Tuesday. Or... did it?

Basically there are about maybe seventeen 80 GB Zunes available in the US, and all were snatched up within minutes. Many major stores, even Best Buy, didn't get any at all.

Trust me, I believe in the idea of artificial scarcity as a marketing tool. Nintendo has been doing exactly that with the Wii for over a year. The "scarce" Wii has sold about 13 million units. But I'm starting to wonder, are paper launches near Christmas effective? What's the point of putting a hot item out there and not having enough available for Christmas? The Wii still had at least a few million under trees by December 25 last year.

Apparently this was a snafu on Microsoft's part, not some intentional marketing ploy. But let's have a reality check here. When's the last time Apple had a shortage for Christmas? How about, like, never. They plan to release their stuff earlier in the year to avoid that kind of thing.

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