Apple Inc., has recently announced to roll out its free internet radio feature, iTunes Radio on September 18 this year, accompanying the release of new iOS 7 operating system. The feature was in rumours since late 2012, with Apple giving halt to these speculations after the recent announcement of launching internet radio service a few months back.
The radio service will be a part of iOS 7 but will also be accessible on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, or Apple TV.
iTunes Radio will be featuring over 200 stations along with ‘featured stations’ curated by Apple that can be personalized as per the taste of the user. It will also come with Siri integration – a real time voice talk software and with the ability to tag or buy anything, one listens to-with just one click.
With this new feature, marketed as ‘Its radio reimagined’, Apple claims to provide more personalized and exclusive features, that only iTunes can deliver. For instance, iTunes Radio will be providing an access to exclusive “first listen” premieres from top selling artists, weekly addition of thousands of new songs, live streams direct from the iTunes Festival in London and other exclusive iTunes Sessions.
The free version can be upgraded to iTunes Match at INR 1200 per year to get the iCloud services. This will make the internet radio service completely ad free and will store all uploaded songs from various sources in icloud thereby giving user a much more personalized experience.
Pandoro- based in Oakland, California is another service which creates music stations based on users’ tastes. As per the reports, it is considered as one of the Apple’s major competitor in the internet radio stream. However, as the Pandoro services are at present restricted to US only, the Apple’s global launch, has already given it an enormous potential audience since Day 1. Other global players in this space includes Spotify, Slacker and iHeartRadio.
Talking about India, this move by Apple can also be a threat to local players in this space such as Dhingana, Saavn and Gaana (Backed by Times Internet). However, Apple accounts for just 5% smartphone shipments to India, compared with 40% for market leader Samsung, due to India being an android centric market. Thus, whether Apple’s iTune radio service will be able to attract more iPhone users in India, the time would tell. Also, as the service is ad sponsored, it will also be interesting to watch whether the move can give a new way to long struggled advertising business of Apple in competition with Google, Facebook and Amazon.
Recently, Apple also announced to release two new iPhones – 5s, the updated version of iPhone 5 and 5c, a low cost version of its iPhone. As reported by Firstpost.com, the new versions will be getting launched on September 20 in the US, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK . They are likely to come to India by December in an speculated range of INR 35000-INR 40,000.
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