If you’ve read any Apple blog over the last few days and weeks, you may have noticed the buzz surrounding the potential arrival of iRadio on iOS at WWDC 2013; essentially a music streaming service along the lines of Spotify and Pandora.
I love the idea. Pandora is great piece of software with almost magical qualities. It knows what sort of music you like based on the music you listen to. More than that, it helps to find music of which you’ve probably never heard, but could get into. The algorithm isn’t based on genre, it’s based on the pitch and tone of the music you listen to, so it’s far more accurate in guessing what you’ll probably like. iRadio will have all this, that’s great news. Even better is that it’s likely to be ad supported and, therefore, free.
However, will it be enough for Apple in 2013? If this is going to be the flagship product for 2013, I think Apple will struggle to wrestle momentum away from Samsung over the next 12 months. Along with iRadio, Apple will need to make a marked improvement to the iPhone in order to offset the gains Samsung are making in the hardware sector.
If you listen to any Mac based podcasts or read any tech repair blogs, you’ve learned the iPhone is having trouble worldwide with the battery packs in their current iPhones. This is a source of potential improvement for the company and, if addressed at WWDC 2013, something that will help the brand regain it’s unquestionable mark of reliability.
This year’s conference needs to balance on something more spectacular than iRadio if it’s going to yield the market gains Apple is seekeing. Otherwise, the brand will become known for following the market instead of directing it. For me, iRadio needs to be a subtle addition to iOS like the Podcasts app was in 2012, not a front runner.
What are your thoughts for WWDC? What would iRadio mean for you and how often can you see yourself using the service?