UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has finally secured the right to sell Beatles music in the iTunes Store. That could be what Apple is planning to announce tomorrow, since Steve Jobs has been pursuing the Liverpool quartet’s catalogue for some time now. If this is the announcement that’s garnered so much attention, I’ll be deeply disappointed.
Apple just posted a new teaser image on its home page, promising an iTunes announcement for tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. PST, or 10:00 AM EST. The official tagline for the event is “Tomorrow is just another day. That you’ll never forget.” No other information about the nature of the announcement is available, but a few interesting possibilities come to mind.
We’ve heard that the iOS 4.2 update could arrive then, but that doesn’t seem to merit the pomp and circumstance Apple’s using here. A day that we’ll “never forget?” Not likely to be the arrival of a software update that’s been teased for months now, and that we’ve seen beta previews of for almost as long.
I suspect a couple other possibilities are more likely. First, Apple’s been doing a lot of work with Ping lately, so we could finally see an agreement between Facebook and Apple to bring the networks together. The recent Twitter integration has helped its friend discovery weaknesses, but a Facebook partnership would shore that up.
Second, there’s a slight chance that we could finally see all those rumors of a streaming iTunes service come to fruition. Talks have reportedly been going on for months, or even years, between Apple and record labels about such a service, and it’s possible Apple only now managed to reach an agreement that would allow a big enough library for a launch. With Spotify and others breathing down its neck, the timing couldn’t be better.
Finally, I think a third possibility could be the introduction of a web-based iTunes Store. Apple has introduced web page previews for iTunes links in the last year, and a great deal could be gained by taking the whole store online. It would save a lot of work on the development end, since iTunes would be platform-independent, and it would provide store access to more users, including casual buyers who don’t want to have to install software to purchase music. It would also help bring Ping to the browser, something I think would really help user adoption of the service.
What do you think Apple has in store for tomorrow?
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