Apple’s service set for June launch – WSJ

Right at the bottom of the Wall Street Journal’s in-depth report on the Apple Tablet we learn that Apple may launch its cloud-based iTunes replacement called as soon as this June, according to “sources familiar with the matter”.

Part of Apple’s strategy in moving iTunes online would be to make it so that third-party sites could easily implement one-click purchases of iTunes content, presumably through some iTunes APIs.

“People familiar with Apple’s plans say a central part of the new strategy is to poulate as many Web sites as possible with ‘buy’ buttons, integrating iTunes transactions into activities like listening to Internet radio and surfing review Websites,” the report warns.

In the way? “Many music executives complain that it has become a powerful gatekeeper between the labels and customers. What’s more, the iTunes Store’s music downloads haven’t grown fast enough to offset the decline in CD sales for music companies.”

Additional nuggets:

  • The tablet, which will ship in March, will have a “10- to 11-inch touch screen.”
  • Apple is negotiating with CBS and ABC parent company Walt Disney to create a TV subscription service;
  • Electronic Arts is working with Apple to create games highlighting the tablet’s gaming capabilities;
  • Apple is in “serious discussions” with Microsoft to integrate Bing’s search capabilities into the iPhone;
  • Apple has “experimented with the ability to leave virtual sticky notes on the device and for the gadget to automatically recognize individuals via a built-in camera.”

We should find out more later this month.

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