According to a report today from Billboard, Apple does not have the deals in place to launch its long-awaited Beats Music revamp as its new streaming music service. The report quotes a source as saying “June won’t be the release date. The deals aren’t done,” but our sources say that an announcement at the June 8th WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) keynote is still planned. A few weeks following the announcement, in late June, Apple will fully release the service as part of two new software products: iOS 8.4 and iTunes 12.2, according to sources briefed on the plans…
iOS 8.4 “Copper” has been in the hands of developers with an entirely new design for the Music application for the past several weeks, while the new Apple TV and Mac apps are still not ready for primetime. Sources say that iOS 8.4 development is winding down within Apple and that the service’s release in limited beta for developers and press is expected at WWDC. Notably, sources say that the new streaming music service, in addition to a revamped version of iTunes Radio, will launch in a “long list” of countries in late June. Until then, iTunes Radio would have been in solely the U.S. and Australia. The new iTunes Radio will also include unlimited skipping as part of a paid bundle.
The beta version of iOS 8.4 in the hands of developers is only a taste of the new design, according to sources, and the different options and tabs across the application will be tweaked to better feature streaming music over music stored offline. Sources said earlier this year that the new Beats-based application will include porting of existing Beats accounts, curated playlists, and the ability to save tracks for offline listening. While Apple initially hoped to charge $8/month for the service, roadblocks from the record labels have reportedly pushed the price back to the existing $10/month.
Apple is also turning full attention to polishing up iOS 9 “Monarch” ahead of its WWDC introduction, which sources now say will include a redesigned Siri application that closely mimics the more colorful user interface of Siri on the Apple Watch. We’re also told that the new release has a default wallpaper made up of a blue and green color scheme. Apple has also been working overtime on major security improvements. We’ll have more details on Apple’s plans for WWDC, including more details on the new Apple TV, Web TV service, and OS X 10.11 “Gala”, as the conference approaches.