Almost two decades after it started disrupting the music scene - plus persistent rumours surrounding its fate in recent memory - looks like Apple is, finally, ready to pull the plug on iTunes.
Speculation has ramped up in the past 24 hours as signals coming from even the tech giant itself seem to point that a move to shelve iTunes - Apple's mobile device management app and a critical component on how it conducts business - is imminent. Bloomberg first reported the impending move, citing sources familiar with the plans.
The announcement is most likely to come at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, today, Apple's yearly gathering to showcase its latest software advancements.
Apple isn't any stranger in, to a certain extent, killing off product lines, sometimes with no notice at all - and they have reasons to do so.
In 2017, it ditched two iPod lines, the Nano and Shuffle, leaving the Touch as the only model left.
But arguably the highest-profile and most surprising product cull was the iPhone X: The device that marked the 10th anniversary of the iconic product was discontinued immediately after its successor, the iPhone XS, was unveiled last year. For perspective, the iPhone 7, which was released almost three years ago, is still being sold.
And the signs are ominous: Apple has also apparently cleared content from its iTunes Facebook and Instagram pages, first reported by industry followers. Curiously, searching for iTunes on Facebook returns the Apple TV page as the top hit. On Instagram, the iTunes page has a description promoting Apple TV+.
This makes sense because Apple is poised to use separate apps for specific categories. Remember: Apple introduced Apple Arcade, specially for games, at its special event last March. Apple TV+ was introduced at the same event, and Apple Music has been in existence for quite some time now.
The iTunes Twitter account, however, still has content in it. Ditto for the actual iTunes website, which is still business as usual.
The WWDC could be the stage where the iTunes shutdown would be announced, but that necessarily mean it will happen on the same day. It could take more time to allow a smooth transition to happen.
The Bloomberg report said that the changes will showcase Apple's new generation of devices and software, such as Apple Watches that are more independent from iPhones, iPads with software that reduces the need for a laptop, apps that run on any Apple device and growth areas such as augmented reality and personal healthcare.
Apple does not comment on rumours or speculation.
What to expect
At WWDC 2019, Apple is expected to, as always, unveil a slew of software upgrades. Most notable would be the aforementioned changes - or, rather, successor(s) - to iTunes.
A major update most likely to be announced is iOS 13, the next iteration of Apple's mobile operating system. So far, the so-called Dark Mode, which changes the colour scheme to make displays easier to view and already found in Macs, has been the most floated addition.
A more independent Apple Watch is also expected. One hardware showcase could be a new Mac Pro.
WWDC starts on Monday at 9pm Dubai time.
Copyright © 2019 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved.