updated 11:40 am EDT, Tue August 7, 2007
Analyst on iPhone OTA
The iPhone will have no choice but to embrace an over-the-air iTunes Store within the year, according to a new report from analyst group Pike & Fischer. The researchers argue that the growing independence of users from their computers and tethered Internet connections will lead many of them to expect the same level of features on their phone. This will leave Apple all but "forced" to open iTunes access through the iPhone just to remain on par with competitors that already offer online stores, says senior analyst Tim Deal. The report points out that even the iPhone's exclusive carrier, AT&T, has just opened its eMusic Mobile online store but that the iPhone has no way of interacting with it while several other phones already can.
Pike & Fischer did not provide a more specific estimate for a store but suggested that Apple's choices were open and the California firm could either directly enable access to the current store or branch off from the main site to create a separate, mobile optimized version. Deal also warned that Apple would likely have to cut the price on the iPhone in the next few months as the initial furore dies down and obvious "iPhone killer" products begin to surface, such as a predicted media phone from Samsung or a similar company that would debut by the end of the year.