iTunes Rumors: DRM Dead, Variable Pricing Cometh, and 3G Downloads for the iPhone!

Pre-Macworld rumors are flying with CNet reporting that Apple has finally succeeded in getting Big Music to allow iTunes to sell DRM-free (non-copy protected) music, something long ago granted to competitors like Amazon MP3.

The cost? Variable pricing. Apple has tried to hold the line at a consistent $0.99 per song pricing (briefly flirting with a premium $1.29 for iTunes Plus' higher bit-rate, DRM-free music before dropping it back down to $0.99 as well). Now, the same rumor holds that Apple will let Big Music sell the latest, hottest hits at a much higher rater, and older, catalog titles at a reduced $0.80 price point.

The best news for iPhone owners? The iTunes Store App currently only allows music downloads via WiFi, but that might also be changing -- to direct downloads via EDGE or 3G.

Would you be willing to pay more for the Top Tens and less for the oldies? Or did they have you at iPhone 3G downloads?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.