As reported by The Next Web, Steve Wozniak gave his first talk at a TEDx conference at TEDxBrussels, and as usual he had some interesting criticism for the company he co-founded. On stage Wozniak said that Apple’s iTunes service should be made available for all platforms, including Android and Windows Phone.
Now, the talk hasn’t been released to the public yet, so we’re not clear if Wozniak was talking about the iTunes mobile store app or syncing compatibility with iTunes for Mac and Windows. Apple has in the past shut down attempts to sync unsupported phones directly through iTunes–one notable example being the Palm Pre’s jury-rigged iTunes functionality.
It’s not clear if porting their software is necessary for Apple from a business perspective. While iTunes’ mobile functionality is only available for iOS, iTunes is currently estimated to hold a 64% share of the digital music market and 29% of all music sold at retail, according to a press release from NPD Group. If Android users and those without Apple devices have to drag and drop the DRM-free files downloaded from iTunes, it doesn’t seem to have deterred their customers.
By contrast, Amazon’s cross platform AmazonMP3 music service accounts for 16% of digital sales, and even including physical CDs, Amazon only accounts for 19% of music retail. Selling nearly a fifth of all music retail isn’t bad, but it’s not exactly a threat to iTunes.
Give the iTunes Store’s self-sustaining popularity, my guess is Apple sees more of an advantage in keeping iTunes syncing, direct iTunes Store downloads, and iTunes Match as iOS-exclusive features on their mobile devices.
Do you think Apple should make iTunes directly compatible with Android and Windows Phone? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.