A tit-for-tat price war has broken out between telco giant Telstra and iPod-maker Apple over music pricing, with massive price cuts as both try to win customers from each other.
BigPond is offering 50% off prepaid music vouchers through Big W and Woolworths for its BigPond Music service, while Apple is selling $50 iTunes vouchers through Big W for only $30 -- a 40% price cut.
Although Apple's price cuts are smaller than Telstra's, it has the advantage that its music works on iPods, while Telstra's Windows Media-copy protected songs will only work on Microsoft-based players.
The price cuts mean songs on Apple iTunes will only cost $1.01 rather than $1.69, which means the pricing is actually cheaper than what people pay at the iTunes Music Store US, which charges $US0.99 ($AUD1.05)
Apple did not respond to requests for comment about the reason for its deep price discounts, which are highly unusual for the company. Apple usually staunchly resists large price cuts and focuses on positioning itself as a premium provider of hardware and services. However, given iTunes is a service run from the US, it is possible that the extremely strong Australian dollar, which is now almost at 1:1 parity with the US dollar, could be allowing Apple to offer the deep discounts.
Telstra's Peter Habib said the discounts would be available until 31st July at selected retailers. "We hope this offer will not only reward our existing customers who love the BigPond pre-paid service, but also attract new customers to what we believe to be Australia's leading online music, games and movies-rental shop." Interested customers can get more info at http://promo.bigpond.com/prepaid/
Apple does not appear to have information about the offer on its own website, but the Big W catalogue with the $50 for $30 offer can be viewed here
(the offer is available until June 25th).