updated 11:20 am EDT, Tue August 4, 2009
PayPal-like iTunes use?
Apple may be willing to extend the use of iTunes Store accounts to payments beyond its own venues, according to rumors circulating Wall Street. Apple executives have allegedly been dropping hints that accounts could be used to make purchases at third-party websites, much in the same way that PayPal operates as a go-between for many online retailers. iTunes users can already make limited purchases from third-party companies through some iPhone apps.
A significant obstacle could be the cut taken from retailers, as Apple would have to charge a separate rate than it does elsewhere. In-app iPhone purchases, for instance, return 30 percent in revenue to Apple, more than most retailers may be willing to tolerate. Apple could also have little incentive to support outside businesses, as these would not drive hardware sales in the same way as content sold directly from iTunes.