They may be stylish, fashionable and marketed to within an inch of their lives but the real force behind the iPod is its exclusive iTunes music store. Developments this week, however, suggest an ever growing number of European countries want to remove this market advantage.
At the end of last week Norway threw its hat into the ring by declaring that Apple has until 21 June to make iTunes downloaded songs compatible with other music players while today Sweden demanded (but did not set a date for) the same thing. Given that Denmark made a half hearted attempt to press this exact point in March it seems that Scandinavia has it in for uber-popular software.
Now I’m not going to belt out my feelings on this as usual since Benny did a rather good job in his editorial after France became the first country to kick up a fuss earlier in the year, but it does seem that Apple is in for a rough ride. Sure, ignoring the French is one thing (who hasn’t done that?) but taking on a country whose fishing laws alone can make Russian trawlers run for their lives is another… and don’t even get me started on the dominatrix behaviour of the Swedes (at least on videotape).
Either way, it looks like this issue isn’t going to disappear anytime soon and while Apple may have threatened to pull out of France when the subject was first raised I can’t see it stepping away from the whole of Europe if EU countries continue to join the list…