Apple may offer unlimited iTunes access for more expensive iPods

Digital Music

ituneslogo.jpgAccording to recent reports, Apple may be considering unlimited access to their massive iTunes music collection for anyone who pays a premium price for an iPod or iPhone.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking that Apple already charges a premium price for their kit, but the idea is that an extra one-off fee when purchasing an Apple-branded media player or phone would then give unlimited access to streaming music from their online store.

It’s not the first time a subscription-based iTunes service has been suggested, but it’s the first I’ve heard of Apple considering charging more for hardware to bring the service.

A recent survey, of unspecified origin, suggests that US consumers would pay up to $100 more for an iPod or iPhone if it gave them access to such a service. Alternatively, they’d pay $7-$8 per month.

In discussions Apple is currently supposed to be having with the major record labels, the deal would also allow users to keep between 40 and 50 tracks each year, even if they cancelled the subscription or changed their media player to another brand down the line.

It would be an interesting move for Apple. As phones and even media players move closer to “always on” connections via high speed Wi-Fi and 3G networks, streaming music from a vast library such as iTunes may become increasingly popular compared to purchasing individual tracks to keep. More reason for Apple to get a iPhone 3G out this year, perhaps.

What do you think? Good idea?


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Andy Merrett
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