Spotify has decided to go public about its intention to launch an application which will run on Apple's iconic smartphone, the iPhone.
It remains to be seen whether Apple, which is at least as protective of its brand as Microsoft, will allow Spotify to run on its platform.
There are at least five reasons why Apple will not allow Spotify to run on the iPhone.
(1) Competes With Apple iTunes
The most obvious is the fact that it competes with Apple's own iTunes. 8 billion songs have now been downloaded from iTunes since when it was launched in 2003.
Figures published by Apple show that it sold around 3 BILLION sound tracks from June 2008 to July 2009, that's 7.7 million songs per day, nearly THREE times more than during the first five years of the iTunes era. Billboard reckons that Apple makes a 30 percent profit on each tracks it sells. Spotify could end all this.
(2) Likely to freak out partnering networks
Allowing Spotify on the iPhone would be the equivalent of allowing voracious eaters to pay a single fee and feast in a Chinese "eat-as-much-as-you-want" restaurant.
Network operators are very likely to lose money and suffer from poor QoS if plans for Spotify on iPhone are given the go ahead. And because Spotify will be using a playlist to download songs as soon as it is connected, it is likely to cause more havoc than just playing a Youtube video.
An iPhone can store up to 32GB worth of music, each byte of which could, in the worst case scenario, have to transit via O2's network (in the UK).
(3) Apple might be opening a Pandora box (see the irony?)
If Apple allows Spotify to operate, it will also need to allow others to do so. Pandora and Last.fm already have their iPhone app (although O2 apparently forbids continuous streaming of music and video in their terms and conditions).
(4) Doesn't offer download link yet
Spotify doesn't allow mighty Apple to collect its Apple tax from the cash strapped start-up. Which is bad. The download link on the desktop version of Spotify goes to iTunes rival, 7Digital (although we doubt that 7Digital is becoming rich with that) and the mobile version is likely to do the same.
(5) Apple might decide to offer its own
What prevents Apple from launching its own version of Spotify? Nothing really. If it decides to do so, record labels are likely to back it. Apple still hast the biggest number of songs, podcasts and audiobooks from any audio stores in the world and would have a definite advantage over Spotify.
Therefore, our educated guess is that if Apple is coerced to put Spotify on the iPhone, it will do a "Microsoft" and just like the software giant tackling Netscape with Internet Explorer, it may release its own online streaming service.