With its US$3 billion acquisition of Beats now official, Apple now has a music subscription service that runs on a number of smartphone platforms that aren't named iOS. Given Apple's historic disinterest in releasing cross platform applications, it's only fair to wonder what will become of the Beats app for Android and Windows now that it's flying under the Apple flag.
Well, wonder no more.
Tim Cook assured Tim Bradshaw of the Financial Times that the app won't be going anywhere.
This is as encouraging as it is interesting.
Just like that, Apple now has an app that runs on both Android and Windows Phone. And while it remains to be seen if the Beats app will long remain available and fully supported on those competing platforms, keep in mind that the iPod didn't truly explode in popularity until iTunes became compatible with Windows. The lesson here is that sometimes you have to put yourself front and center before as many consumers as humanly possible.
Admittedly, the analogy is not 100% spot-on given that the iPhone is already immensely popular. Nonetheless, music listening on mobile devices these days is platform agnostic, which is to say Apple only has something to gain by having its subscription music service available on as many smartphones as possible. An iOS-only strategy would only make sense if Apple somehow manages to create a value proposition with Beats that's simply unrivaled by competitors like Spotify.