Macworld Expo 2009: A Bust For iPhone Users

Philip Schiller, senior vice president for worldwide marketing, gave Apple's keynote address at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco yesterday. Apple's stock (AAPL) gained $10 to peak at $97 in a wave of excitement over the affair, but has since lost roughly $6. This may reflect disappointment over the lack of groundbreaking announcements at the event.

Admittedly, it may be hard to top the excitement surrounding the release of the iPhone itself, however the latest developments for iPhone users were minor in nature. The biggest change will be in pricing and functionality for users of iTunes on the mobile device. Instead of having to connect to a computer or Wi-Fi network to download songs, subscribers will be able to download purchases directly over the AT&T wireless network.

iTunes pricing will also change thanks to a renegotiation of terms between Apple and major record companies. Apple will eliminate Digital Rights Management (DRM) protections on purchased music, and will no longer require that song prices remain at 99 cents. This means that record companies can adjust prices in a range from 69 cents to $1.29 depending on a track's popularity.

Apple's iTunes library totals 10 million songs and the company has sold over six billion tracks since the software launched eight years ago. Steve Jobs did not attend the Macworld Expo this year due to ongoing treatment for a health issue.