iTunes overtakes Wal-Mart in Music Sales

from the Associated Press release

Clearly Apple has gained with their first mover advantage and their dominance in the MP3 market but I think it won’t be long before Amazon begins matching or beating iTunes for market share of digital downloads. I also think that if and when there are more high demand non-Apple MP3 players are on the market then Wal-Mart can leverage these devices and have more impact and higher market share but not before then. I also agree with Michael Arrington’s assessment that the big music labels know their time has come and gone and are trying to enforce payment schemes to prop up a dying business model (The Music Industry’s Last Stand Will Be A Music Tax). Here is an excerpt from the AP Article.

Apple Inc.’s iTunes online music store vaulted past Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in February to become the top overall music retailer in the U.S., a market research firm said Thursday.

Best Buy Co. was ranked behind Wal-Mart and iTunes, with Amazon.com and Target tied for the fourth spot in January and February, according to consumer surveys conducted by The NPD Group.

The firm tabulated units sold, counting every 12 digital downloads as one CD. It did not count sales revenue, nor mobile music sales.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple touted the latest signs of its music retail dominance, noting it has more than 50 million customers. A survey NPD released in February covering annual sales proclaimed iTunes leapfrogged to the No. 2 ranking in 2007.

Itunes has sold more than 4 billion tracks since its launch in 2003, thanks in part to the popularity of its iPod portable music players.

The music store sold around 25 million tracks in 2003. Three years later, it surpassed the 1 billion mark, and by July, it had sold more than 3 billion tracks.

Apple’s rise in the NPD survey also reflects a trend this decade of declining CD sales and rising digital music sales, which favors digital music retailers.

Free MP3’s at Jamendo.com

Julia Car - Urbano
Wow. I found a great new site for checking out new artists and downloading their MP3’s – FOR FREE !!! It’s called Jamendo.com. If you like what you hear you can pay the artist what you want. Kind of like Radiohead’s new album. I hope this becomes a trend.

For example, I was very impressed with this group called Julia Car and their new album Urbano which was just released on October 26th.

Warning – The lyrics are in Portuguese but the music is amazing.

iPhone drops $200, Apple offers $100 Rebate for Early Adopters

Here’s the link to (Real) Steve Jobs Open iPhone Letter announcing the rebate.

Apple iPhone now $399http://www.apple.com/hotnews/openiphoneletter/

I guess Steve really does want an iPhone in every pot. I suspect he sees a barrage of imitators and copycats and improvements so he wants to get the iPhone in as many hands as possible before his brand and this marketspace becomes oversaturated with similar models with similar features.

Oh Yeah. Brande New iPods and new iTouch which is an iPhone without the Phone. Interesting.

Once, Twice, Three ways to Unlock an iPhone

from Business 2.0

With uncanny serendipity, three teams trying to unlock Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone so that it can work with carriers other than AT&T (T) have reached their goal within days of each other.

First out of the block was George Holtz, a 17-year-old student from New Jersey who posted a 10-step technique on his website Thursday that requires cracking open the iPhone and doing some tricky soldering.

His accomplishment was quickly overshadowed by a team from iPhoneSIMfree.com, which developed a software-only technique that does the same thing without having to void the iPhone’s warranty by opening it up. The group demonstrated its procedure today to Engadget’s Ryan Block, who vouches for its authenticity on the blog and in a video. (Note the “T-Mobile” in the upper left hand corner of his iPhone screen, pictured above.)

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