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Why Did Apple Say Yes To A Spotify iPhone App?

Many observers were shocked when Apple announced yesterday that it has approved the inclusion of Spotify's application to be used on the iPhone.

The approval process for apps to be accepted in the App store is quickly becoming as important and equally as secretive and controversial as Google's own Pagerank algorithm.

(Ed : read our "5 Reasons Why Apple Could Reject Spotify's iPhone App" article which was published last month)

Google itself has had its Voice application put in App limbo due apparently to the pressures exerted by Apple's exclusive US partner, AT&T, over fears that this might gnaw away valuable revenues.

But Spotify is different it seems as it directly attacks one of the jewels in Apple's crown, iTunes, which has generated tens of billions of dollars worth of revenues (through the iTunes stores, marketing coverage and sales of iPod players) since it was launched in 2003.

Why would Apple and possibly Steve Jobs himself, decide to introduce the equivalent of a Trojan horse, inside the Apple stable?

Wired (opens in new tab) says that Apple cares more about the iPhone and its App store than iTunes citing the estimation by, Gigaom, that the App Store generated $2.4 billion in one year.

Furthermore, it is likely that Spotify premium will not be attracting enough people to make Apple's partners - the mobile phone networks - worry. Analysts say that one in every 50 members are paying so far the £120 annual fee for the premium subscription service.

Spotify has managed to get more than 1.5 million users by the end of June 2009 and is growing at the rate of one new subscriber every 2 seconds.

Our Comments

There's also the possibility that if Spotify is not offered, it might generate some substantial negative publicity around the iPhone and encourage people to migrate to other platforms like Android, Symbian S60 or Windows Mobile.

Related Links

Spotify Approved: Does Apple Care More About Apps Than Music? (opens in new tab)

(ITPro)

Spotify App Store-bound following Apple approval (opens in new tab)

(Telegraph)

Spotify App Approval Means Rhapsody Approval? (opens in new tab)

(24dash)

Why Spotify’s iPhone approval is a big deal (opens in new tab)

(Dailytech)

Spotify's iPhone app - is it worth it? (opens in new tab)

(BBC)

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.