Before Apple’s iPhone 5 event, The Wall Street Journal reported that they had heard from the usual “people familiar with the matter” that Apple was working on providing a Pandora-like streaming “internet radio.” During the iPhone 5 event, it was revealed that iTunes 11 would be shipped in October. iTunes 11 is being touted as a major update to Apple’s media manager, including a complete UI overhaul and (as rumor has it) a rewrite. It makes sense that such an update would include a major new feature such as an improved streaming system.
It’s also worth noting that the only official screenshot we have of iTunes 11 (shown by Apple during their September 12th Keynote) oddly includes a “Radio” tab. While the current version of iTunes has a very basic, minimal and often unreliable version of “Internet radio,” it has never been featured prominently enough to warrant such a place in the UI. If such a service exists, it would also explain why there is no beta version of iTunes for developers to test yet.
Although it’s odd that this wasn’t announced last week at the iPhone 5 event alongside the updated iPods, it is possible that iTunes 11 could ship with the heavily-rumored iPad mini, and that this new Pandora-like service could be featured then.