by Anton Shilov
10/04/2012 | 10:58 PM
Steve Jobs once said that Windows users would get to use iPod and iTunes "over my dead body". However, in 2003 the company ported the iTunes to Windows and in several years after that became the leader on the personal digital media players market. Now, to sustain iTunes leadership, it needs to be ported to Google Android platform, claims Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple.
"Let's look at Apple. Apple's real rise from the small market-share Macintosh company to the iProducts of today began with iTunes and the iPod. This turned out to be the second huge business which roughly doubled Apple's 'size'. If you remember, we ported iTunes to Windows. We now addressed 100% of the world's market with this integrated system (iPod/iTunes) and it began the era of Apple that we are now in. So why don't we port iTunes to Android? Did something get closed up? I love Apple products and iTunes and wish it were on my Android products too," said Steve Wozniak, who does not hold any official positions at Apple today, during a Q&A session at Slashdot web-site.
Back in the early oughts Microsoft Windows platform was virtually the only personal computer platform that existed, Apple's Macs were not even close as popular as they are today and keeping iPod/iTunes away from Windows meant that Apple simply did not compete for higher sales of the iPod.
Nowadays Apple owns the No.1 music service in the world, but it is only available on Macs, Windows PCs and iOS-based devices (Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, iPod). Meanwhile, Google Android is getting more and more popular on smartphones, which are eventually going to outsell all types of personal computers and tablets. Therefore, there the situation today has a lot of obvious similarities with the situation ten years ago and Mr. Jobs' unwillingness to port iTunes to Windows.
But there is one major distinction too: unlike ten years ago, Apple now has an extremely competitive lineup of different products that includes music players, smartphones, media tablets, personal computers, set-top-box for TVs and so on. Moreover, people have vast music libraries acquired from iTunes, which keeps them on the platform and possibly on iOS/Mac OS devices. Once iTunes is available on Google Android, it will be easier for today's Apple users to migrate to competing mobile devices without losing their content.
It is evident that iTunes is making billions of profit to Apple. At present, it hardly makes sense for Apple to port it to competing Google Android platform so that to avoid direct competition between hardware devices. But in case Apple wants to keep iTunes as the No. 1 online music reseller in the world, eventually it will have to somehow tap the Android since once it loses leading position, it will get harder to negotiate with content owners over deals.