7digital, a UK-based online music store that offered the first DRM-free tracks from the four major music labels, has submitted an iPhone music store app to Apple, which is currently pending approval by Apple.
The app, already available on Android and BlackBerry phones (it's the number one music app on the BlackBerry app store with 500,000 installs), offers an iPod and iTunes music service replacement. If approved, the 7digital app will compete directly with iTunes on iOS devices.
Offering users the ability to browse, download and play music from the 7digital music store on their iOS device (over 3G or Wi-Fi), the 7digital app will sync users' downloaded music wirelessly to their computers, too - something iTunes does not currently offer. The tracks are offered in 328kbps high quality format and 7digital also plans to introduce a streaming service in the future, though, obviously this would require a further approval from Apple.
According to 7digital's blog, they now offer "the most comprehensive mobile [music] offering on the market." That's a bold statement to make. Having just released their Android app as well as their recently announced, mobile-optimized, web-based, HTML5 forward compatible online music store (accessible on most smartphones as well as scaling for tablet computers, too), 7digital appears to have a certain Apple iTunes Music Store in their crosshairs (if not all digital music stores).
To top it all off, 7digita has announced that there API is powering the music service on Toshiba's Folio 100 tablet as well as Samsung's Galaxy Tab music hub, which 7digital believes will be a "real contender" against the iPad. Although, if the Galaxy Tab's 7-inch screen is anything to go by, Steve Jobs doesn't seem to think it will be very successful.
With Steve Jobs recently saying the iOS model isn't closed, but rather "integrated," will Apple approve an app that is in direct competition with its own iTunes Music Store? It's a tough one to call. Apple has allowed streaming apps like Pandora into the App Store, but to approve an app that would directly purchase and download music on an iOS device that's not from iTunes, that's the big question. We'll keep you posted on any further developments.