Would Apple really make an iTunes app for Android? New rumors say “yes”

iTunes-Radio-three-up-iPhone-5

The Steve Jobs Apple of just a couple of short years ago might not have given an inkling of a thought to creating apps for Android, but things could be changing under the Tim Cook regime. New reports suggest Apple is thinking about making an iTunes app for Android to combat ailing digital music downloads.

Beyond that, Apple is also reportedly looking to transform iTunes into a more contemporary service, with the company said to be in the “exploratory” stages of crafting a subscription-based model to rival the likes of Spotify and Google Play Music. It’s a natural evolution of the business Apple helped create, and they don’t want to be left behind if popularity of subscription-based streaming models stay on the rise.

It isn’t far-fetched to believe that all of this could eventually find a home on Android. Apple has supported competing platforms in the past, with Windows versions of Safari, iTunes and Quicktime all being prominent pieces of software.

Apple’s motives might have been due to the fact that Windows was blowing Mac OSX out of the water in terms of market share, but the important thing to remember is that they did it. There’s no reason the same couldn’t happen on the mobile side of things (especially considering Android growth is currently outpacing iOS in all facets of mobile, tablets included).

Such a move could be seen as an admission of defeat in the long run, but the businessmen at Apple would probably be more pleased with a better bottom line than the need to uphold the reputation and views of a former, crazed mastermind of a CEO. There’s no word on when this would go down if it were to all come to pass, but you know we’ll be keeping tabs on this particular rumor from here on out.

[via Billboard]

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  • MK2

    That will certainly make it easier for Apple users to switch to Android.

    • spicymeatball

      And vice versa.

    • ShirtlessKirk

      Considering the abortion that is iTunes on Windows I wouldn’t hold out much hope that an Android version would be any good.

      • Sean Royce

        Nah, knowing Apple, if they’re trying to convince users to switch to iOS they’ll invest a lot of people onto this project. Bloody cult company.

      • Roaduardo

        I’ve seen some bad ports to Windows. What is it with them getting such horrible ports?

    • WORPspeed

      exactly what I was thinking….let the floodgates be opened!

      Also as pointed out, might make others switch to iOS, but those I say farewell, hope you like it in your garden and good riddance :P

      Okay, I genuinly hope they enjoy themselves more but I expect more people to go iOS -> android than vice versa

      • ari_free

        Run to Apple, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many
        years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this
        day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell Apple that they may take our tunes, but they’ll never take… OUR
        FREEDOM!

        • WORPspeed

          Yeh I’d like it much more if I actually cared at least a bit about iTunes…iOS won’t get my tunes, or anything else for that matter….I’m wayy to deep in the G trenches now :P

        • Roaduardo

          So cheese ball I love it!

        • Epic Tea

          ROTFL!!

  • David Narada Brown

    AHHH SNAPPLE!

  • CryptoNoel

    Yeeeeees! This held me back for a long time

    • phinn

      Google Play Music.

      • Epic Tea

        more specifically GPM All Access.

  • Mark

    I think they do this because of need, not because they want to.
    Android phones outnumber iWidgets substantially.
    Simple business decision that I am sure the Apple army won’t like but will get over.

  • Defenestratus

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHAHAHAHHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHHA

    *deep breath*
    .
    .
    .

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

  • Dustin Wood

    They’d be smart if they did. Just like they’d be smart to build hardware for Android powered devices. I’d like an iPhone with Android on it.

    But for iTune on Android, I consider the majority of Android users to be power users, and they probably wouldn’t even consider iTunes as an option to get their music and movies. I know I’ve moved on to other services. Legal services. I stopped illegal stuff once I went from poor college student, to an paid employee.

    • JRomeo

      “an iPhone with android on it”? the closest thing is an iPhone with Google Movies, Google Music, Google Drive, YouTube, Gmail, and Google Search installed (all of which currently are available for install on the iPhone)

      • Dustin Wood

        As are pretty much every single other app on the Android. But its just not quite the same.

    • IVHorseMen

      I too would like an iPhone that ran KitKat

      • WORPspeed

        You can always jailbreak your iphone to get Kitkat on it
        Not even sure you need to jailbreak, look here:
        http://techlinhas.com.br/tlbr/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/kitphone.jpg

        Also, no idea what the portugese text says

        • IVHorseMen

          I’d like it done through official channels. Doubt there will ever be any such phone by Apple and Google but it would probably be the G.O.A.T.

    • Sc0p

      Why would either of those moves be smart? Apple doesn’t backseat their own IP to benefit other companies. You can ALREADY install android onto iPhones, but I don’t see Apple *EVER* sending a phone from the factory with android on it. If they didn’t do that for windows, they will not do that for android, especially since apple has the upper-hand in terms of profitability in the market.

  • phinn

    I dislike iTunes as much as the next person, Google Play is excellent, but I gotta say…

    The best thing Apple could do is release iMessage for Android. The current Android texting solutions are terrible and most people I know use iMessage. The fact that it’s on EVERY iDevice and automatically detects other iMessage clients then switches to encrypted data is amazing. Android is years behind this feature.

    • spicymeatball

      I highly doubt that they’re years behind.

    • Mark Wheeler

      Not just idevices I can iMessage my friend on his iPhone / iPad from my mac oracbook pro ( just need mavericks on it )

      • sdrawkcab25

        Google hangouts can do that also… Both users just have to be using hangouts, which Google is trying to push people towards… AND hangouts is available on iOS devices…

        • IVHorseMen

          Hangouts separates IMs and SMS messages

          • Epic Tea

            so maybe google can be the one to make hangouts work with imessage?

    • Roaduardo

      I know, it’s annoying. Got family up north that all use iDevices that I can’t chat with on iMessenger.

    • UMA_Fan

      Not only that Apple could charge around $5 a piece for both imessage and facetime for android and millions of android users would pay it. No question.

  • Jeff Langsner

    This is a fantastic idea actually, no need to hate on iTunes. Considering Google Play Music doesn’t exist in Canada (Yes not the regular version or the All Access Radio thing), iTunes already sort of has a monopoly on digital music downloads in Canada. By Apple adding this, it could actually sway alot of people hesitant to switch to Android here, since Android currently has no alternative to iTunes in the land of maple syrup.

  • DannyB2

    Apple has supported competing platforms in the past. Yes, like Safari for Windows. Also like iTunes on Windows.

    But Apple only does this when it is necessary for them to do so. When Apple can use the lack of a product or service on the competing platform as an advantage, they will not offer that product / service on the competing platform. When Apple does offer the product / service on the competing platform, it is usually because they need to reach of the larger market share of the competing platform in order to make money on their product / service.

    iTunes is the perfect, PERFECT example. iTunes is a money making service. Apple sees all that money Google is making. Apple realizes (correctly) that it is in Apple’s best interest to make money from iTunes on Android.

    Yet at the same time Apple tries to destroy the Android ecosystem. What happened to “Android is a stolen product”, and their patent thermonuclear war? Apple has, last I heard, 40 lawsuits going against Android. Apple and Microsoft co-founded the Rockstar patent troll — a pure patent troll that does not build any actual products. Rockstar allows both Apple and Microsoft to be patent trolls by proxy.

    So think of this if you are an Android user. Supporting Apple, or iTunes is supporting a company that wants nothing less than the destruction of the platform and its ecosystem that you are using and invested in.

    • Curtis Coburn

      Nicely said. However Apple does have Good software for their iPad line that I would like to see on android. ITunes I don’t care about. Things like iMovie would be nice to have on Android, unless there is a better app.

    • JRomeo

      I hope they include the ability to cast your iTunes movie purchases to chromecast !!!

    • spicymeatball

      Yes they want Android destroyed, but in the mean time they want to sell media. To find out their motive you need to follow the profits. iOS profit=?, iTunes profit=?, AppStore profit =?, and iOS Advertising Profit=?. If iTunes potential profit is greater than all iOS profits combined then they would not care about iOS as much as they do now. Basically following what Google did. Google concluded that Android wasn’t as profitable as they wanted and realized they needed to increase their presence on both Android and iOS and that is why you’ve seen them build great apps and services for both.

    • Mark Wheeler

      And android users don’t want iOS destroyed? Judging by the comments I read here.. It seems so

      • Roaduardo

        The only reason I can surmise from such vitriol coming from Apple/Android supporters is that marketing has truly worked. They’ve realized their dream of creating such fierce camps on either side rooting for each company like its their family.

        Oh humanity…

      • DannyB2

        The only reason I have a problem with Apple is their patent thermonuclear war.

        Prior to that, I didn’t care. My thinking was actually to simply wish them luck in the marketplace.

        Now that Apple has made itself a moral enemy of Android. So what are Android users to think? With statements like “I’ll spend every last penny to destroy Android”, etc, etc. (Which, BTW, sound like the ravings of a lunatic.)

        • Sc0p

          Android users have been talking crap about iOS ever since Android came out and lots of them were talking crap since before android while latching themselves to Blackberry, Windows Mobile, PALM and so on. It was always the same thing “Oh! Have you heard of the Samsung Instinct? It’s a surefire iPhone killer! That’ll teach crApple!” Every-single-year since the iPhone came out, without fail. And don’t get me on how people reacted to the iPad. Since BEFORE it came out, companies and fanboys were making outlandish iPad killer remarks. The thing wasn’t even announced yet and companies were lining up in 2010 to announce that they beat Apple to the punch and declare that Apple has already lost the tablet market. Then after that there has been an iPad killer every year. This goes waaaaaay deeper than Apple filing copyright infringement lawsuits because the Apple hate parade has been going on nonstop for like 30 years.

    • Sc0p

      They released Safari for windows because of the halo effect involved and Microsoft dominates the desktop market in terms of relevance, numbers and profit. With the mobile market, it is completely different. Apple is more like the mercedes benz of handset manufacturers. They are incredibly relevant and they take home more profit in the mobile market than the rest of the market combined. If you’re bringing home 80% of the profits in your market, are you really gong to bend over backwards and compromise your entire winning game plan to get a small cut of the remaining 20%? Seriously???

  • scoter man1

    It probably needs to be updated every time you open it.

  • JRomeo

    Add chromecast ability to the iTunes app for Android, and you’ll have a winner.

  • spicymeatball

    If they do this it will change my thinking about apple, a little. Amazon, Apple, and Google all have to manage their media content services separate from everything else they do. When your selling movies, music, and books it’s all about how big your potential market is and excluding devices reduces their potential significantly. I hope they do this and exclude Kindle Fires. Actually, Amazon needs to follow suit. The fact I can’t watch amazon prime on real Android is ridiculous. Finally, Apple is starting to see what Google does makes sense.

  • steveb944

    Hell is about to get a little bit colder. I hope they add more features to bring it on par with GPM

  • Carl Rood

    When you consider the price points of Apple’s devices, you can see where there’s value to be had in this. There are a ton of people who will never be Apple customers simply because they are unable or unwilling to shell out the money for an iWhatever. Since the price of content is pretty much the same in whatever store you buy from, that means Apple is missing out on a lot of potential customers.

  • nyc_rock

    Its simple really. How much additional revenue can apple generate through music/video sales vs how many Iphone users they will lose to Android.

    IMO, its a no brainer. Most people will not stay loyal to the Iphone simply because of Itunes. Apple should do this and do it quickly. Its actually amazing that Android still has nothing even close to Itunes. And when I mean close, I mean close. No dedicated desktop client that even compares to Itunes. Doubletwist is ok, but its not the same. At least for me. When I buy a new song on Itunes, it shows up automatically on my device, a hard copy, not a cloud copy. I dont want to use data for streaming music. I want my song locally stored. With Android, I have to remember that I just bought a song and then drag and drop. Its a total PITA. Am I missing something?

    • h4rr4r

      You are forgetting one other thing, this will make it easier for Android users to switch to iPhone.

      If I was Apple I would make an android app store as well and if an app was bought on one platform it would be purchased on all platforms.

      • aranea100

        Actually it’ll make iphone users to switch to android easier. Many people have to stick with iphone to keep their itunes library.

        • h4rr4r

          You can download your itunes library and loading it on your android device already. Unless you still have some DRMed tracks or something.

    • Jay

      Yeah you’re missing a lot. While android doesn’t have an iTunes equivalent you can store your songs locally on your device without the need for drag & drop. Google Play’s Web based approach makes a lot more sense than iTunes and is a lot easier & intuitive.

      • nyc_rock

        Ok. So each time I buy a new song on Itunes it will automatically sync when I plug im my experia z1 compact?

        • Kevin

          No, he’s saying that Google Play is an alternative to using itunes because you can purchase music and it shows up in your cloud music and you can store it locally on your device from there. Also if you have the Google Play Music client installed it’ll automatically download to your PC.

          Is it better than iTunes, I don’t know. It is for some, it’s not for others. I personally like Google Play better because I don’t need to run shitty desktop software that doesn’t work on my PC and I have complete control over my files and can transfer to however many devices I want (including the ability to play from a web browser at work. But, I know a lot of people like the GUI of iTunes. My thinking is, it’s probably better to buy from Google Play or Amazon where you can physically download the music than it is to buy from iTunes and be locked to their program. You can still import into iTunes, I don’t know if the exporting has changed any in the last few years. I remember it being a pain in the ass though.

        • Jay

          Not what I’m talking about but yes that is possible using a program that syncs iTunes with your Google Play account.

          • nyc_rock

            Do you have an app you would recommend?

        • Epic Tea

          actually you can do it wirelessly with google play music desktop app, sycs to itunes boom done.

    • e550mercedes

      You realize that the iPhone is far from dying. Even the so-called failure of the iPhone 5C sells more than most high-end Android devices. Most Android phones are $10-$45 pieces of junk. The HTC’s and Samsung Galaxies, etc. are only a small part of the Android pie. Already, Apple sells 80% of the high-end smartphones in China, and that, after only a few months of being officially on the market:

      http://www.businessinsider.com/iphone-5c-android-sales-2014-3

      iPhone takes a whopping 80%

      • nyc_rock

        Thats the point I am making. I dont think an Itunes android client would cause many Iphone users to switch to Android. It would simply allow Apple to sell more music/videos.

        • Sc0p

          But Apple already rakes in the overwhelming lion’s share of the profits of the entire mobile industry. Making itunes available for android makes 0 sense. They’d be compromising their own platform for nickels on the dollar.

    • Epic Tea

      actually i know many people who say thats the main reason they stick to iphone becasue they are heavily invested in itunes and app purchases.

  • Ali Ali

    yessss. I’ve been trying to verify my Google wallet and after a month I’ve given up. setting up an iTunes account is very simple!

  • Ryex

    Why would anyone want a bloated low quality media player on their device? I could understand if it had FLAC support, or allowed higher bit-rate songs to play, but Itunes lowers quality to fit more songs on any given device. This is horrible…

    • Roaduardo

      Only reason I’ve kept iTunes for such a long time after switching to Android is that for me personally it’s still the easiest way for to download and listen to my fave podcasts offline. As for music I’m all about that FLAC son!

  • NexusKoolaid

    DO NOT WANT! I purchased a few songs a while ago and ended up losing them (accidentally deleted or ???). So I go to the iTunes store to DL the songs again, but the iTunes store won’t let me do that because I already downloaded them. It was only a couple of tracks so I wouldn’t mind repurchasing them, but it won’t sell them to me since I already purchased them. I’ve since sworn off the notion of spending another dime in the iTunes store.

    • Jason Crumbley

      I’m pretty sure if you delete them from Google Play, that they won’t let you download them again either. I know that, now, with iTunes, purchased songs are also saved to the cloud.

    • Del373

      It has something to do with syncing purchases to your account. They keep track of which songs you’ve bought on which iTunes account and if you’re signed into the wrong account it won’t sync properly. If you’re positive that you have the right account logged in and still can’t get the music you should submit a support inquiry to Apple as I imagine they can’t legally deny you music you’ve payed for.

    • IVHorseMen

      That is a horrible experience.

  • np6s4x

    I would use it, itunes is about the only thing i’d use from apple. One good reason is that songs are cheaper on itunes. I see some on google play for $1.99 for a single song, when i can get the same thing from itunes for the more normal $1.29

    • Del373

      If you want to get the higher quality songs on iTunes (ah la, not just 128mbps) I’m pretty sure they’re the same price. I could be wrong though, it’s been a while since I bought music from iTunes, Amazon is usually my choice for purchasing music.

  • Del373

    Eh, I wouldn’t hold my breath on this. I’m pretty sure that the iTunes store still uses the AAC format and last I checked even modern Android devices don’t play nice with .m4a files.

    Even so, I’d be intrigued if this were to actually come to pass…despite disliking many things about iTunes (the excessive bloat for one) the pure simplicity of it’s operation often makes it one of my primary desktop music players. It’s one of the only things that Android devices don’t have that I kinda miss. A sort of “jukebox” desktop software for organizing media and syncing it to my device.

    • EarlyMon

      Some apps have in the past, like Meridian player.

      Either way, I’d have to think that they’d include a player with the app to solve that problem.

    • QuintoBlanco

      I copied all my iTunes .m4a files to my Android phone and tablets. Not a problem. My Galaxy SIII sounds better than my iPod Touch (5th generation).

      I can’t play iTunes films or read iTunes books on my phone and tablets though (they are still DRM protected). So I stopped buying books on iTunes. I buy e-books at Amazon and Google.

      Google Play offers music and is pretty easy to use.

  • Dougau

    Would the Android version be called why? Tunes???

  • Epic Tea

    itunes on Android = Double edge sword for both Google and Apple

    You would be surprised how clueless people who switch from apple to android are, One guy i talked to didn’t even know all your google play purchases are saved, he thought he had to repurchase everything anytime he got a new phone. (rolls eyes)

    Honestly Google’s ecosystem is to the point where its in many aspects better than apple’s the only thing itunes would bring is a greater amount of content both in music and movies, otherwise right now Google Play All Access is 10x better than itunes radio, spotify, itunes or pandora combined.

    I guess this would be good for clueless people who think its impossible to use itunes music on android.