Apple CEO Jobs: Microsoft Zune No iPod Threat (UPDATED)
By CIO Staff
Since this story was originally posted, it has been updated to clarify that the Zune device comes with a built-in FM radio tuner.
Apple Computer Chief Executive Steve Jobs has taken note of Microsoft’s recent efforts to build awareness of its upcoming Zune digital media player—which Microsoft hopes will give Jobs and his iPod a run for their money—but he’s not too worried about the challenge the software giant will present, according to a recent interview posted on Newsweek.com.
Jobs and Newsweek Senior Editor Steven Levy spoke as the five-year anniversary of the hugely popular iPod device approaches, according to the interview.
Microsoft plans to release Zune in the United States on Nov. 14, and its 30GB version will sell for $250—the same price Apple charges for its video iPod with the same storage capacity. The Redmond, Wash.-based firm is not trying to undercut Apple in its pricing strategy; rather, it is attempting to build a Zune user base by offering features not included with iPods. For instance, Zune features some wireless content-sharing capabilities, and it comes with a built-in FM tuner. Apple’s iPods cannot transfer content—or even download content—wirelessly, and though users can purchase FM tuner add-ons, they don’t come built into the devices.
In response to Zune’s wireless song-sharing capability, Jobs said in the Newsweek.com interview that he is unimpressed.
“It takes forever,” Jobs told Newsweek.com.
Apple’s chief executive also said in the interview that the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm would keep the price at 99 cents for song downloads via its iTunes Store. Microsoft also plans to charge 99 cents per song on its Zune marketplace, which is set to go live when the Zune devices are released.
In addition, Jobs said in the interview that he’s not afraid the iPod’s popularity will erode its “coolness.”
“That’s like saying you don’t want to kiss your lover’s lips because everyone has lips,” Jobs told Newsweek.com. “We don’t strive to appear cool. We just try to make the best products we can. And if they are cool, well, that’s great.”