updated 01:55 pm EDT, Fri June 10, 2011
iTunes still on track to hit 1b users in a few yea
A breakdown on Friday showed that iTunes was not only growing quickly even over seven years but faster than some longstanding platforms. At 225 million accounts, it was still growing at a logarithmic scale, Asymco saw. The Xbox 360, Windows Mobile, and Symbian had tapered off either at the same seven-year mark or earlier.
The continued rush was attributed to Apple's ability to juggle the transition of iTunes. Originally conceived as a music-only store built with the iPod in mind, it had moved it over to supporting not just apps and video but to focus on an entire unified mobile platform. Others were rendered obsolete in part because they didn't have a path to keep growing, such as Windows Mobile, or have been intentionally limited by the nature of the device.
Apple was theoretically on track to hit a billion accounts by the 10-year mark. However, its main challenge now was in reaching customers who didn't necessarily fit Apple's typical credit card-focused model. Many in Africa, India, and other regions or countries either couldn't afford or simply couldn't use a credit system to pay for music. iTunes has systems like PayPal but doesn't take direct payments or other methods that could skip the need for a Western bank account.
The desire to keep iTunes moving might be fueled by the computer-free setup in iOS 5. Many in key countries like China often don't have a home computer and might only ever see iTunes through an iOS portal.