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The iTunes Problem
2008-06-20 09:22
by Will Carroll

I have an interview up with Jason Snell of MacWorld over at BP where we discuss the impending iPhone 3G and new software from It's worth a listen, but I've been reading, Macrumors, and others, but I haven't seen anyone addressing one issue: The iTunes model.

People in the development community have been complaining about the slow, seemingly random process for accepting developers into the iPhone development program at the same time we've seen leaks about all the applications that are coming. What I haven't seen is a ship date for most of these. Yes, we know the iTunes App Store will open on July 11th, but not much beyond that. That's a Friday, like the original introduction of the iPhone. I think the proximity of the weekend has more to do with it than anything.

But I'm focused on Tuesday. Not any specific Tuesday, but that's the day that new albums "ship" into iTunes. The music industry has long used Tuesday, though I really have no idea why. iTunes just continued the model. But when iTunes went beyond music into movies, they picked Tuesday as well. Again, this tends to be the "ship date" for DVDs, so it could be just picking up the model or easier to promote things on one day, but the real test will come with the iPhone Apps.

Will we see a "release" slate for iPhone apps? I think so. A big rush of apps is nice, but people only have so much money and a constant stream of new apps will bring people back to look. It will set up anticipation, especially if there's an established release schedule (ie, "Hey Super Monkey Ball comes out in two weeks!") It's a different model, though not that different from console games. I think the weekly release model keeps the iPhone hype train alive long after the 3G drops and before the next new variation.

All I know is that I'll have that MLB app on my phone as soon as it's available. Super Monkey Ball? Not so much. The gamechanger? Having Gameday in my hand while I'm sitting at the game ...

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