Despite the Zune being declared #2 in sales by NPD Group, the figures aren't quite what they seem. We have a tip about how it was done, and why the numbers could possibly make the Zune look worse, or better, depending on the unknowns.
Here's a list of things that could possibly move the Zune's share up or down.
Up: The study included both flash and hard drive players.
Uncertain: They didn't include "club stores" like Costco and Wal-Mart.
Down: Data was US only. Zune's not out in other countries.
Uncertain: Black Friday data wasn't included, and won't be until mid-December.
Uncertain: Apple only reports monthly data, and not weekly data. This could possibly move the Zune share down.
Three uncertainties, one up, and one down. Even if they had all this data, the Zune's probably still #2—and hasn't dropped to #3—but the share could be higher or lower by a few percentage points.
Thanks to the tipster!