updated 03:40 pm EDT, Thu August 27, 2009
Spotify iPhone App
Apple today said it has approved Spotify's iPhone app. A spokesperson for the company made the rare statement ahead of the app's appearance for paidContent in what's seen as a bid to prevent accusations of anti-competitive behavior regarding the app, which will need a 10 Euro (roughly $14) monthly premium subscription but which will give unlimited streaming of music over both Wi-Fi and on iPhones using 3G. It's unclear when the app will actually appear but is expected only in countries where Spotify is already available on computers, such as the UK or Spain.
As part of the comments, Apple's official pointed out the usually quick approval process, which it claimed in its FCC response approved 95 percent of apps within two weeks. However, the Spotify app went unapproved for exactly one month, and Apple hasn't provided its own reasoning for the delay.
The California firm has come under increasing scrutiny for what some see as an attempt to exclude those who would rival either its software features or its commercial services, like iTunes. In its FCC response, Apple denied rejecting Google Voice for the iPhone but raised competition concerns by justifying inaction through worries that the mobile app would replace Apple's phone and SMS functions. A second paid streaming music service, RealNetworks' Rhapsody, was also submitted to the App Store and is still pending its own approval.
While Rhapsody and Spotify are new test cases for Apple, the company has often been willing to allow Internet radio apps that theoretically compete with iTunes, such as Last.fm, Pandora and Slacker.