Years passed. Finally, on November 14, 2006, Microsoft introduced
its own music player, called Zune. Fifty-four days later, Steve
Jobs unveiled the iPhone, which combined a mobile phone, a music
player, Internet capability, a camera, and other features not
available on Zune. But the iPod was still around for customers who
didn’t want a phone. In fact, Apple had already introduced its
fifth-generation iPod, its less expensive iPod Mini, and was about
a year away from marketing the least costly of its music players,
the iPod Nano.
Zune was blown away. By 2009, iPod maintained an astonishing 71
percent of the market, the kind of numbers rarely seen anywhere
outside of a North Korean election. Meanwhile, Zune limped along
with less than 4 percent. Last October, Microsoft discontinued it,
in hopes that customers would instead purchase a Windows Phone
that, like the iPhone, has a music player.
Never thought about it that way: by the time Microsoft caught up to the iPod, Apple was on to the iPhone.