Sony, whose ebook application was blocked from the App Store because it would have sidestepped Apple's system for buying content and deprived the Cupertino company of its cut of revenue, indicated it may pull its artists from iTunes and withhold its games from the iPhone, an Australian news outlet reports. The move would also set up a showdown between iTunes and Sony's upcoming Music Unlimited streaming service, which is set to open in Australia soon.
The new service will debut with 6 million tracks and give users the ability to stream songs to a range of Sony devices, including Bravia TVs, PlayStation 3 consoles, PSP handhelds, and Blu-ray players. Music Unlimited is more of a cloud-based service, so there won't be any need to transfer and sync libraries on different devices, as is required by iTunes.
"If we do [become popular] then does Sony Music need to provide content to iTunes?," Sony CEO Michael Ephraim asked himself. "Currently we do. We have to provide it to iTunes as that's the format right now.
"Publishers are being held ransom by Apple and they are looking for other delivery systems, and we are waiting to see what the next three to five years will hold."
While Sony Music will be available on the PSP and Sony Ericsson smartphones, Ephraim didn't say whether or not it will work on competing devices.