With October almost over, Apple (s AAPL) is acknowledging that it won’t be able to release iTunes 11 on time. An Apple spokesperson told CNET that the release is taking “longer than expected,” adding that the company wanted to take “a little extra time to get it right.” Apple is now saying that it will release the completely revamped version of iTunes before the end of November.
Apple first announced iTunes 11 at its iPhone 5 event in September, with Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue saying at the time that it would be released some time in October. However, iTunes was notably absent from the company’s iPad mini event last week, leading to speculation that the development of the media player was behind schedule.
The new version of iTunes is supposed to feature a completely revamped user interface with a bigger emphasis on cover art, contextual information and dedicated artist pages that can be used by musicians to share photos, tour dates and other information. There were rumors earlier this year that Apple would integrate its own Pandora-like streaming radio service into iTunes, but recent reports indicate that this won’t be happening until next year, if at all.
The delay of iTunes 11 isn’t just notable for the digital media space; our own Om Malik reported yesterday that sources within Apple have been telling him of a shift towards a more schedule-driven product cycle. This has supposedly lead to the half-baked release of Siri and Apple Maps. The announcement of a software like iTunes before it was ready to be released could be another indicator of an increasing pressure to deliver on schedule. Then again, delaying the release could be seen as a sign that Apple is trying to avoid any further Maps-like debacles.