Apple is expected to announce the end of iTunes today during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), as it continues to dramatically alter its business model.
According to reports from Bloomberg, the technology giant is poised to scrap its media player and marketplace after nearly 20 years.
Since 2001 iTunes has been Apple’s platform for purchasing and downloading music, TV programmes and films, but it is now expected to cancel it in favour of three new apps putting a greater focus on its services arm.
The new apps will separate Music, TV and Podcasts across both device and iMac operating systems as Apple aims to further unify its app ecosystem, allowing users to manage gadgets through the Music app.
The rise of streaming services like Spotify and Netflix have dramatically eaten into sales on iTunes’ platform, while falling iPhone sales over the past year have driven the brand to shift its focus away from its iconic hardware towards services such as Apple TV+ and Apple Music.
This comes after Apple posted its sharpest ever drop in iPhone sales for the three months to the end of March, diving 17 per cent to $31 billion (£23.7 billion) despite sales recovering in China.
In March it gave weight to rumours that it was moving shifting away from hardware sales, announcing the launch of Apple TV Plus in the autumn, a Nextflix-style service which will offer subscribers access to a catalogue of Apple’s originally created TV shows and movies.
Next, Apple unveiled a new game subscription service called Apple Arcade also set for release in Autumn, which unlike Google’s recently announced Stadia service, will not stream games.
Instead it will allow users to download any of the 100 new exclusive games coming to the platform to their iPhone, iPad, iMac and Apple TV, alongside a range of curated games from its existing catalogue.