iTunes’ days are numbered, but how will we freely back-up iPhones?

It’s looking increasingly likely that Apple will retire iTunes at WWDC 2019, where it’s also expected to launch standalone Music, TV and Podcasts apps.

Bloomberg reports the 18-year-old media management software will cease to exist once the individual apps come into being with macOS 10.15. While it had been well-known for some time that the standalone apps were coming to macOS, as evidenced by screenshots leaked in late May, it wasn’t clear what Apple planned to do with iTunes.

Related: WWDC 2019

The Facebook and Instagram pages for iTunes have also been wiped clean, though iTunes’ Twitter page still exists.

While it wouldn’t store or sell media any more, many iPhone owners still choose to make full backups of their devices through the iTunes Wi-Fi sync or by manually plugging the device into a PC or Mac.

What those users will do now remains to be seen. Perhaps Apple will launch an applet that enables iPhone backups under a different name, or simply push users to backup their devices through iCloud storage.

The company is keen to push its Services division as a primary revenue source in the future, but placing a tax on iPhone users who’d effectively be forced to pay for the 50GB a month iCloud platform (at least) just to safeguard their iPhone seems a tad harsh.

There’s also the account management tools to consider, with iTunes long providing a portal to handle subscriptions, Apple ID and such.

Apple originally launched the iTunes software way back in January 2001, as a means of handling digital music files and then syncing with an iPod music player. Eventually, the iTunes Music Store was launched, while applications became part of the software further down the line.

WWDC takes place on Monday 3 June in Cupertino. Apple is expected to unveil the new iOS 13 operating system, alongside the new versions of macOS, watchOS and tvOS, at the event.

We’ll have full coverage of the event and Apple will be providing a live stream across its usual platforms.

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