Macworld 2009 iTunes Announcement Was All About the iPhone?

iPhone vs. Big Media

We've heard rumors about this before, but now the New York Times (via MacRumors) is pretty much coming right out and saying it. Apple was ready to give up their uniform pricing model ($0.99 per song) over a year ago but they wanted not only DRM-free licensing in return, but over-the-air (cellular) iPhone downloads. It seems many, including Apple and the music industry, think that's the Next Big Thing.

Still, things were tense down to the last few moments before the big Macworld 2009 announcement:

All the labels agreed except Sony Music. Its chairman, Mr. Schmidt-Holtz, wanted the pricing to go into effect right after the announcement, while Mr. Jobs wanted a longer time horizon. According to a person briefed on the telephone call, Mr. Schmidt-Holtz and Mr. Jobs had a heated exchange by phone on Christmas Eve. Eventually, Sony gave in and agreed to a longer waiting period.

With Steve Jobs (the smartest man in music?) on leave of absence, however, don't think things will get any easier for the historically out-of-touch music industry. Insiders report that others inside Apple, including iTunes VP Eddy Cue, follow Steve Jobs' line.

Apple and music aside, what does this mean for -- you know -- the end users? How important is downloading music over the cell network to you? Will it make you buy more music? And will some songs being cheaper, and others more expensive, change you buying habits as well?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Macworld 2009 iTunes Announcement Was All About the iPhone?


Being able to purchase iTunes music over 3G/Edge is a good move. It will tap into the spontanious purchasing of music that might not happen other wise. That being said I still wish they would make their music as mp3. I buy other places because of this.

It's a good move from APPLE but personally
I get my music from demonoid for free because i'm BAD and with this economy why pay $1 when I can get whole albums for free 'b**** please' :).
I've only bought 1 song from the itunes store and that was under false pretenses supposedly you could only create your own ring tones if the song was purchased from the itunes store which turned out to be a flat out lie.

This would be great if we were able to purchase music from the iTunes store in South Africa.

Great idea, currenty pointless. With iTunes going 256kbps most songs are over 10mb and can't be downloaded anyway!

I never buy iTunes music because I no longer have a computer ( I cracked my macs screen :(...)... If I could download straight to the phone I would buy music quite often!