Apple ponders unlimited iTunes access, says report

Slowing iPod sales could prod Apple to make the move, adds analyst

Ezra Gottheil, analyst with Technical Business Research, was somewhat skeptical that Apple would change its music model, but noted that the company's been having trouble pushing iPods. "Jobs has been quoted several times as saying 'people don't want to rent their music, they want to buy it'," said Gottheil. "But they may be considering this to fill a place in their portfolio for those who do want to rent music."

Such talks, if they are indeed taking place, could have been prompted by the slow-down in iPod sales. "The fourth quarter was essentially flat [in iPod unit sales], which is pretty darn bad, and they've dropped considerably since then," Gottheil said. "We've read it, and others have read it, as a saturation of the high-end music player business. There's a finite world-wide demand for something that just plays music."

Apple has seen iPod unit sales go up, but the average sales price (ASP) go down, he added, noting that the shift in buying patterns favored the less-expensive iPod shuffle and iPod nano. "Then the shuffle began to erode as attractive alternatives hit the market," said Gottheil. "Apple even lowered the price of the shuffle to keep it going."

A month ago, Apple slashed iPod shuffle prices.

It appears that Apple's now positioning the iPod touch, the device that resembles the popular iPhone smart phone, as the future of its player line, Gottheil continued. "This is a new market for them, a device that goes well beyond playing content."

Notably, Apple's top-of-the-line player can download movie rentals, the new iTunes service that CEO Steve Jobs introduced in mid-January. It's also the only iPod that can now download iTunes music via a WiFi connection.

Gartenberg made note of the connection between the existing movie rentals and the talk of unlimited access to iTunes music. "With the latest changes to the Fair Play DRM [digital rights management] to support movie rentals, the technology now would also be able to support a subscription service as well," said Gartenberg.

Apple officials were not available for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?