TORONTO – Apple is planning to include a pre-installed Beats music streaming app in the next version of its mobile operating system iOS, according to a Financial Times report.
The report, which cited people familiar with the situation, said the subscription-based app would be automatically downloaded on millions of iPhone, iPad and iPod devices as early as March.
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Apple acquired Beats Electronics and Beats Music in May for $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in stock, making it the most expensive acquisition in Apple’s history.
Including a pre-installed app on its operating system would mark Apple’s first major attempt to take advantage of its purchase of the companies, originally founded by rapper Dr. Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine.
Apple declined to comment on the report.
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Usually when an app is pre-installed on Apple’s operating system – like it’s newly added Health app – users aren’t able to delete it from their device. This may cause some frustration for users who already subscribe to other music streaming services, like Rdio or Spotify, who don’t wish to use the app. The app itself would be free, but users will have to pay for a monthly subscription to use the service.
No word yet on how much the subscription will cost.
And, as Apple found out recently, its users aren’t too keen on being forced into downloading content they don’t want.
In September, Apple and Irish super-group U2 teamed up to give away their new album to every iTunes user for free, by way of automatic download.
The move resulted in widespread anger from users who were surprised to find the album popping up on their devices and Apple was eventually forced to release a tool allowing users to remove it.
桑拿会所 users are already objecting to the idea of a pre-installed Beats app.
Dear Apple, I don’t want to have the Beats app preinstalled. If you do it, I’m done.
— Jean Pierre Taico (@jeanpierrenj) November 19, 2014
Great, another irrelevant app taking up space on my iPhone! “Apple to push Beats to all iPhones according to FT” 成都桑拿按摩论坛t.co/2TWjzrgDmY
— Kirsty-Lee Griffiths (@kirstylguk) November 20, 2014
Because forcing things on iPhone users always ends well @TelegraphNews: Apple to push Beats app to every iPhone 成都桑拿按摩论坛t.co/HewfuqvESE
— Good Sir Knight (@BrigadierSlog) November 20, 2014
According to the Financial Post, the Beats app will likely be rebranded under the iTunes name, which already includes downloads and iTunes Radio services.
Though the purpose of a pre-installed app is likely to reach the most users, it may not be a winning approach for the tech giant.
iTunes Radio, which was pre-installed on iOS 7, has not been as popular as other subscription music services.