How to Downgrade iTunes 12.7 to iTunes 12.6

Downgrade iTunes 12

Some users may determine that iTunes 12.7 along with the removal of the App Store and other changes are incompatible with their particular workflow. With a little effort, you can downgrade iTunes 12.7 back to iTunes 12.6 on either a Mac OS computer or Windows PC.

Most people should not downgrade iTunes nor attempt to downgrade, this is really only appropriate for advanced users who must use an earlier version for some particular reason. Before downgrading iTunes 12.7 you should know that you can manage and download apps on iPhone or iPad without iTunes, directly in iOS as detailed here, including manually copying apps to the iPhone or iPad via IPA files.

You should backup your computer before beginning this process. Failure to backup could result in permanent data loss or data removal. Do not skip backing up your computer before beginning.

This process is basically three parts: deleting iTunes, restoring the old iTunes Library file, and then downloading the older version of iTunes and installing it.

How to Downgrade iTunes 12.7 to 12.6 on Mac

Back up your Mac before beginning the iTunes downgrade process. Do not skip backing up your Mac or else you may lose data, apps, music, media, or general functionality.

  1. Back up the Mac if you haven’t done so already
  2. Quit out of iTunes
  3. Now open the Terminal application in Mac OS, found in /Applications/Utilities/ and type the following exactly, then hit return:
  4. cd /Applications/

  5. Now you’ll be in the Applications folder via command line, the next command syntax must be precisely entered to remove iTunes, make sure the syntax is exact:
  6. sudo rm -rf

  7. Be absolutely certain your syntax reads the same, rm is unforgiving and will delete any file permanently it is pointed at. When certain you are pointing at only, hit return and authenticate with an admin password to completely delete iTunes
  8. Delete iTunes on a Mac to downgrade

  9. Now go to the Finder of Mac OS and visit your user ~/Music/iTunes/ folder and locate the file named “iTunes Library.itl” and move it to the Desktop, or another easily found location
  10. Still in ~/Music/iTunes/, now open the folder titled “Previous iTunes Libraries” and find the most recent dated iTunes Library file (these are labeled as whatever date you installed the latest iTunes, for example “iTunes Library 2017-09-12.itl” or similar) and make a copy of that file
  11. Restore old iTunes library file

  12. Drag the copy of “iTunes Library 2017-09-12.itl” to the ~/Music/iTunes/ folder and rename it to “iTunes Library.itl”
  13. Now go to Apple iTunes Downloads page here and locate “iTunes 12.6.2” and choose to download that to the Mac
  14. Install iTunes 12.6.2 on the Mac as usual, then launch iTunes once complete

That’s it, you’re now back to the prior version of iTunes.

To avoid downloading iTunes 12.7 again you may want to hide it from the Mac App Store or turn off automatic updates.

How to Downgrade iTunes 12.7 in Windows

Downgrading iTunes 12.7 can be done in Windows as well by uninstalling iTunes and then reinstalling the old version. You’ll still want to restore the old iTunes Library .itl file however.

  1. In Windows, navigate to where your iTunes Media folder is and open “Previous iTunes Libraries” and make a copy of the most recently dated iTunes Library.itl file in that directory
  2. In Windows, open Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features and go to “Uninstall or change a program”
  3. Choose “iTunes” and choose to Uninstall iTunes 12.7 from the Windows PC
  4. Uninstall iTunes in Windows to downgrade

  5. Download and install iTunes 12.6 from Apple using the following links (direct download links to exe files via Apple CDN), get the 32 or 64 bit version appropriate to your Windows installation :
  • Relaunch iTunes after installation has completed
  • It’s important to not skip the ‘iTunes Library.itl’ file process because if you do not restore the previous iTunes Library file you will get an error message stating “iTunes Library.itl cannot be read because it was created by a newer version of iTunes”. Typically you can override those error messages by rebuilding an iTunes library, but if you can avoid that you may as well.

    How to Manage & Sync iOS Apps Without iTunes on iPhone & iPad

    Manage iOS Apps on iPhone and iPad without iTunes

    The latest version of iTunes removes the App Store and thus the ability to manage iOS apps on an iPhone or iPad directly through iTunes. Instead, Apple wants users to manage and sync their iOS apps directly on the iOS device itself through the built-in App Store.

    The removal of App Store and an Apps section from iTunes has confused some users, and annoyed others. But don’t distress, even if this change can take some adapting, because you can still easily manage apps, sync apps, and redownload apps and access apps through the App Store directly on an iPhone or iPad.

    It’ll be helpful to think of the concept of app ‘syncing’ as now more like app re-downloading from the App Store, since syncing apps to and from iTunes is largely gone and instead replaced with redownloading apps if need be over the internet. (I say largely gone because you can still sort of work with .ipa files, more on that below.)

    How to Redownload Apps to iPhone or iPad from iOS App Store, Without iTunes

    You can download existing and old apps, as well as manage apps directly on the iPhone and iPad by using the App Store Purchased section. The Purchased section of the App Store includes all apps you have ever downloaded or bought before at any time with the Apple ID in use, as long as those apps are still on the App Store. This redownloading iOS app ability has been around for a long time in iOS, but now it is perhaps more important than ever before.

    Here is how you can access Purchased and use it to download apps back to your iOS device, note the precise actions are slightly different on iPhone compared to iPad but the general behavior is the same:

    1. Open the App Store app in iOS
    2. App Store logo in iOS

    3. Go to the Purchased section of the App Store
    • For iPhone and iPod touch: Go to “Updates” and then “Purchased”
    • Access Purchased apps in iOS App Store for iPhone

    • For iPad: Tap your Apple ID account icon in the corner of the open App Store
    • Access Purchased apps in App Store on iPad

    • On iPad App Store, then tap “Purchased”
    • access apps to iPad via App Store Purchased section

  • Choose the “Not on this device” section
  • Tap the download icons alongside app names you wish to download to the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  • Downloading apps from the Purchased section of apps not on the current device

    This allows you to download and access apps that you have previously downloaded, owned, or purchased at some point, but that are not contained on the current iOS device.

    These purchase listings will be different per iOS device, changing from “Not on this iPhone” or “Not on this iPad” depending on what device you are using with the same Apple ID, and depending on what apps are on the active iOS device.

    Access and download purchased apps not on the iOS device without iTunes

    Arranging iOS App Home Screen and Icon Layouts on iPhone and iPad

    You can still arrange your iOS home screen as you like it to a custom icon layout, but now it must be done on the iPhone or iPad.

    Simply tap and hold on an app icon until all screen icons start to jiggle. Once the icons are jiggling on the iOS screen they can be moved around at will. Use this to arrange the Home Screen of an iPhone or iPad to suit your preferences.

    If you drag a jiggling icon to the edge of the screen, continue holding and you can move the app icon to a different Home Screen page.

    Removing Unwanted Apps from the iPhone or iPad

    Removing apps from an iPhone or iPad is a matter of uninstalling the apps from iOS, the easiest way is by the tap-and-hold and then delete method detailed here.

    Delete apps in iOS with a tap and hold

    You can also delete apps from an iOS device through the Settings > General section to manage storage.

    Manually Syncing / Copying Apps via IPA Files to iPhone or iPad with iTunes

    Interestingly, you can still drag and drop ringtones in .m4r format and iOS apps in .ipa file format into iTunes and to the target iOS device, and they should transfer over to the target iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

    If you happen to have a .ipa file of an iOS app, you can still manually copy it over to the iPhone or iPad via iTunes by using this drag and drop method. This is sort of like syncing, but it’s really just copying a file over from the local computer to the target iOS device by using iTunes.

    Apps stored as .ipa files, if you have any stored on a local computer, can be found within the iTunes Library locations on the Mac and Windows PC and a subfolder for Mobile Applications, typically the path would be as follows for Mac and Windows PC respectively:

    IPA file path in Mac OS:

    ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications/

    IPA file path in Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10:

    My MusiciTunesiTunes Media

    With an iPhone or iPad connected to the computer via USB, simply drag and drop the IPA file into iTunes onto the iOS device in question through the sidebar.

    IPA files of iOS apps on a Mac

    It’s alway possible this particular IPA file feature will disappear from iTunes in the future with another software update, or that the IPA files stored on a computer will vanish if you don’t copy them elsewhere for backup purposes, so it’s probably wise to not depend on this particular ability too much.

    Do you know of any other tricks or helpful approaches to managing apps and iOS devices through iTunes or a computer, now that iTunes has removed the App Store? Let us know in the comments!

    iTunes 12.7 Released, Removes App Store


    Apple has released iTunes 11.7 for Mac and Windows users, a point release update that brings some notable changes to the music and media player app.

    The new version of iTunes adds support for iOS 11 while simultaneously removing the iOS App Store from being included in iTunes. Additionally, iTunes 12.7 removes the ability to sync iOS apps and ringtones on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch via iTunes on the desktop. Instead, Apple wants you to manage and download iOS apps from the iPhone or iPad itself via the native iOS App Store application.

    Users can download the latest iTunes release from the software update mechanism of iTunes itself, via the Mac App Store Updates tab, or from the iTunes download page here.

    The release notes accompanying the iTunes 12.7 download are as follows:

    The new iTunes focuses on music, movies, TV shows, and audiobooks. It adds support for syncing iOS 11 devices and includes new features for –

    – Apple Music. Now discover music with friends. Members can create profiles and follow each other to see music they are listening to and any playlists they’ve shared.

    – Podcasts. iTunes U collections are now part of the Apple Podcasts family. Search and explore free educational content produced by leading schools, universities, museums, and cultural institutions all in one place.

    If you previously used iTunes to sync apps or ringtones on your iOS device, use the new App Store or Sounds Settings on iOS to redownload them without your Mac.

    When you launch iTunes 12.7 you will see a pop-up window with an alert informing the user that iTunes has been “updated to focus on music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks” and telling the user to use App Store or Sound Settings in iOS to deal with apps and ringtones.

    iTunes message removing App Store

    It’s worth mentioning that iTunes 12.6.x is currently compatible with iOS 11, though that may change when the final version of iOS 11 is released to the public on September 19.

    iTunes 12.7 for Mac removes iOS app store

    iTunes 12.7 for Mac removes iOS app store | Macworld<!– –><!–

    itunes menu 127


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    iTunes 12.7 for Mac was released on Tuesday with a major change in the app. Apple has redesign iTunes so that it focuses on sales of music, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and podcasts. It no longer has an App Store for buying apps for your iPhone or iPad.

    itunes 126 app store Apple

    One last look of the App Store in iTunes 12.6.

    This means that in order to buy an iOS app, you must do it on the iOS device itself. You no longer can buy an iOS app within iTunes, and then load the app to your device when you perform a sync.

    Apple announced last month that iTunes U content can now be found in the iTunes’ podcasts section.

    If you purchased ringtones through iTunes, Apple says that you can download them through your iPhone using the App Store app, or through Settings > Sounds > Ringtone > Store.

    itunes 127 featuresApple

    Apple’s release notes on iTunes 12.7.

    How to upgrade to iTunes 12.7

    1. On your Mac, launch the App Store app in your Applications folder.
    2. Click on the Update button at the top of the app.
    3. The app will use the internet to look for new updates. If you don’t see the iTunes 12.7 update, try reloading the page by pressing Command-R.
    4. When you’re ready, click the Update button next to the section about the iTunes 12.7 update. If the iTunes app is open, your Mac will tell you that the installation cannot proceed until you close iTunes. Click Continue to have your Mac close iTunes and continue with the upgrade.
    5. The installation will take a few minutes. You should not need to restart your Mac, unless you also decided to click the Update All button, which installs any other OS updates available.
    6. When you launch iTunes 12.7 you’ll see a disclaimer about the changes.
      itunes 127 disclaimer Apple

    Apple Listing Select Movies as 4K and HDR in iTunes Purchase History

    MacRumors reader Tomas Jackson, who resides in the UK, has discovered Apple is listing select movies as 4K and HDR in iTunes purchase history.

    In a discussion topic on the MacRumors forums, Jackson shared a screenshot of his iTunes purchase history with the 2016 film Passengers listed as “Movie (4K, HDR)” under the Type column. However, he said iTunes only let him download the movie in HD quality, which is either 720p or 1080p depending on the content.

    Another reader mentioned that the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is also listed as 4K and HDR. MacRumors rented the film to check, and we can confirm the film indeed has “4K, HDR” next to it in our iTunes purchase history. Nevertheless, iTunes lists the movie’s video quality as 720p.

    Not all movies are listed as “4K, HDR” at this time, and it may be region specific for now. One reader from the United States shared a screenshot of Passengers still being listed as “Film (HD)” in his iTunes purchase history. MacRumors can confirm “4K, HDR” has appeared in both the UK and Canada at least.

    iTunes content remains viewable in SD and HD for the time being, but the discovery suggests Apple may be gearing up for what’s around the corner — 4K and HDR support for both iTunes content and a new Apple TV.

    In February, Bloomberg reported Apple was testing a new, fifth-generation Apple TV capable of streaming 4K video, adding that it may be released as soon as this year. The report also said the new Apple TV, allegedly codenamed “J105” internally, would display more vivid colors, suggesting HDR support.

    A month later, developer Firi Games provided MacRumors with evidence of a device identified as “AppleTV6,2” and running “tvOS 11.0” connecting to its arcade game Phoenix HD for Apple TV in its logs. The IP address fell within a range linked to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.

    The current Apple TV has a model identifier of AppleTV5,3, and Apple TV6,2 does not correspond with any released model.

    It’s conceivable that Apple could launch 4K content in iTunes alongside a new Apple TV with support for up to 4K video output and HDR, or high dynamic range, which allows for sharper colors and lighting. The current, fourth-generation Apple TV has a maximum 1080p video output, and no support for HDR.

    Netflix has embraced 4K, offering its original series in ultra-high-resolution on compatible devices. The high-end iMac models with 4K and 5K Retina displays are currently Apple’s only devices that can properly display 4K content. The latest Apple TV lacks the hardware required for 4K and HDR video output.

    The iPod is dead, now let’s kill iTunes


    Remember syncing?


    By now, I’m sure you’ve heard: Apple finally put the iPod out of its misery.

    The iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle have met their logical end, following the iPod Classic (2001-2014) into gadget history. The Touch remains the only iPod-branded product in Apple’s line. (And that name has always felt like a stretch — it’s really just a Wi-Fi-only iPhone, or a 4-inch iPad, if you will.)

    Not even the “Baby Driver“-inspired wave of iPod nostalgia could save Apple’s music player. Just past its 10-year anniversary, the iPhone has finally delivered its deathblow. And don’t be surprised if the inevitable Apple Watch 3 has more room for music — I can already see Tim Cook on stage, playing up the “Apple Watch plus AirPods” as a perfect solution for phone-free music on the go.

    But as we salute the iPod on its journey to tech heaven, I’m hoping it means we can finally send iTunes to tech hell.

    Perhaps you’re too young to remember iTunes. Well, pull up a chair and let me tell you a tale from the age of spinning discs and CRT monitors. The indispensable — and free! — music app for your Mac or PC started life way back in 2001 as a straightforward music manager. “Rip. Mix. Burn.” touted Apple, much to the music industry’s chagrin.

    Yes, kids: Before the iPod, it was all about burning CDs. Once the iPod arrived later that year, though, iTunes became the “iPod management software.” You’d construct your playlists, rearrange your songs, and load them in and out of your iPod via the USB cable — managing as little as 5GB at a time.

    When the iPhone arrived in 2007, iTunes served the same role. It was even required for activating the phone when setting it up at home — a computer running iTunes was an essential part of the process.

    iTunes menu

    Screenshot by John Falcone/CNET

    In later years, things started to change. The arrival of the App Store in 2008 eventually opened the iPhone to third-party music services like Pandora, Rdio, and Rhapsody — and eventually current giants like like Spotify. Apple christened Apple Music in 2015 as well. That, along with rivals like Google Play Music and Amazon Music, let online music services live side-by-side with your own cloud-based music collections. (Yes, actually making that transition from hard-drive to cloud is often Sisyphean, but if you make it to the other side — as I did with Amazon — you can kick iTunes to the curb.)

    But more importantly, as of iOS 5 in 2011, iTunes was no longer required to activate an iPhone, either. No computer, no problem: the iPhone (and, by then, iPad) was finally a truly standalone device. iCloud backup sealed the deal: You didn’t even need iTunes to backup your device any more. (What you will need is money for extra storage, since the freebie 5GB tier is never enough.)

    In the meantime, though, iTunes became one of history’s all-time great examples of bloatware. Take a look today, and you’ll see one program that does this:

    • Music
    • Movies
    • TV Shows
    • Podcasts
    • iTunes U
    • Books/Audiobooks
    • Ringtones
    • Apps
    • Internet Radio

    For the most part, the media choices include both local file management, as well as access to the iTunes Store. But that’s still a lot of stuff for one piece of software.

    Oh, and it also still handles local backups of iDevices, too.

    If that sounds like way too much, it is. Which is why on an iPhone or iPad, those apps have already been split off (TV for video; Music for listening; iTunes Store for purchasing media from Apple; Podcasts; iBooks; and iTunes U, which offers educational content) or consolidated into other apps (you manage ringtones, apps and backups in Settings).

    To echo a proposal that’s been made by countless others over the years: Why not just create MacOS versions of all those apps, too? Fold iTunes Match into Apple Music. Maybe add one more app to the mix — something like “iDevice Maintenance,” to handle those backup and debugging tasks for which iTunes is still occasionally necessary. That would provide a comparatively streamlined experience for each, and something that would better align the Mac experience with iOS, the path that Apple has increasingly followed in recent years.


    The bad old days.

    Donald Bell/CNET

    And for all of you who still use iTunes every day — and yes, I know you’re out there — don’t worry. iTunes wouldn’t “disappear.” It would still be available on Macs and Windows machines. Indeed, Apple has already pledged to offer iTunes in the Windows Store soon. 

    I could see iTunes joining MS Paint as a zombie app. Still downloadable to those of you who want it to sync to your iPod, listen to your music or watch video on your desktop, backup your iPad or… manage your audiobook collection? Whatever. Just don’t expect any new features going forward. It would be frozen in time, no longer maintained or updated (aside, presumably, from critical security fixes).

    In fact, while we’re at it, it would be a good time to kill the iTunes brand altogether. Apple Music is already its own thing, and buying movies and TV shows through “iTunes” has always felt like something of a misnomer. I don’t know what the rebranding would be (Apple Store?), but… why not? (Indeed, Jason Snell offers some evidence this may already be in the cards.) 

    After all, the iPod is dead. As we kick off the iPhone’s second decade, this feels like the perfect time to put iTunes out to pasture. For good.

    Still use iTunes? Would you miss it? Is it still too mission critical to kill? Let me know in the comments.

    How to Deauthorize a Computer in iTunes

    Deauthorizing iTunes computers

    Apple puts a limit on how many computers you can use with some of your owned iTunes and App Store content, including music, movies, apps, TV shows, books, iBooks, this process is known as iTunes authorization. Most users don’t pay much attention to this, but if you own multiple Macs or PCs concurrently or over the years, you’ll eventually hit the 5 computer authorization limit in iTunes, often when trying to access iTunes content or restore an iPhone, which then prevents you from accessing that iTunes Store and App Store content until another computer has been deauthorized, and then the current computer authorized.

    The solution to this is to deauthorize a computer from iTunes, a process which can be necessary in both Mac OS and Windows.

    By deauthorizing a computer, it removes that particular computers ability to access purchased and downloaded content from iTunes, iBooks, the App Store and apps, music, movies, and then frees up that computers slot within the 5 computer authorization limit. This is a good step to take before transferring a Mac to a new owner but it can also be necessary if you have hit the 5 computer limit and need to deauthorize one computer so that you can use a new computer with your own iTunes and App Store downloads and purchases.

    How to Deauthorize a Computer in iTunes

    Deauthorizing a single computer is very easy, assuming you have access to it:

    1. Open iTunes on the Mac or Windows pC
    2. Pull down the “Account” menu
    3. Go to “Authorizations” and choose “Deauthorize This Computer”
    4. Authenticate with the Apple ID to complete the deauthorization process

    How to deauthorize a computer in iTunes

    Note that by Deauthorizing the computer, nothing is deleted or removed from the computer or from iTunes, it simply prevents that computer from further accessing some bought and downloaded iTunes, iBooks, App Store, and other content.

    Additional Note about Deauthorizing Windows PC and iTunes

    The steps to deauthorizing a Windows computer in iTunes is the same. However, you may need to repeat the reauthorization process multiple times because you may need to repeat the process multiple times for it to fully deauthorize. That probably reads a little funny, but seriously, that is advice directly from Apple on how to use their own deauthorization process in iTunes for Windows:

    Windows users
    If you didn’t deauthorize your computer before you re-installed Windows or upgraded your RAM, hard disk, or other system components, your computer might be using multiple authorizations. Try to deauthorize your computer a few times until it’s no longer authorized, then authorize your computer again. After you do this, it will use only one authorization.

    How do I Deauthorize a Specific Computer?

    Use the steps outlined above to deauthorize a specific computer while you have access to it.

    What if I don’t have access to that computer anymore, how can I deauthorize it?

    If you need to deauthorize an old computer, or you need to deauthorize a specific computer you no longer have access to, you can’t do that. Instead you must deauthorize every computer that has been authorized, and then authorize each computer with iTunes that you want to use with iTunes one-by-one, again.

    Perhaps some day iTunes will gain the ability to selectively deauthorize a specific computer remotely or that you no longer have access to, but that has yet to materialize. Instead, you must deauthorize them all, and then reauthorize selectively on the computers you do have access to.

    Happy iTunes deauthorizing!

    Apple’s Autoscanning iTunes Card Promo Codes Work via Hidden Font, Can be Replicated by Devs

    When you purchase an iTunes gift card and redeem it in the App Store, the camera on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac can scan the code on the card to recognize it automatically, saving you the time of typing the numbers in manually.

    Equinux, the company behind Mail Designer Pro 3, dug into how Apple’s promo code engine works in an effort to make their own scannable cards, and the results are quite interesting. As it turns out, the scanning feature in the App Store is tuned to recognize two things: a unique, hidden font and the dimensions of the box around it.

    Equinux tried the box alone with a range of fonts like Courier and Monaco, and attempted to identify the unique characteristics of the font to find it, but were unsuccessful. Ultimately, the team realized the font that Apple’s using is hidden deep within iTunes.

    The breakthrough came when we noticed that when you scan a card with your iPhone, the app briefly displays a “scanned” overlay of the code. This means the font must be embedded in the app somewhere. We tried the same with iTunes on macOS. And voilà – the iTunes on Mac behaves the same way.

    When you look at some of the other folders inside iTunes, we found a tantalizing plugin called “CodeRedeemer.” It showed promise. But alas, no font files there either. The app binary does give a hint of where the heavy lifting is being done: “CoreRecognition.framework.”

    Hidden in the CoreRecognition.framework, there are two fonts: “Scancardium,” for entering and recognizing codes, and “Spendcardium,” which appears to be for obscuring credit card details as they’re entered. The two fonts can be found by going to Finder on a Mac, clicking Go, choosing Go to Folder and pasting the following: /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/CoreRecognition.framework/Resources/Fonts/

    With a simple double click, the fonts can be installed on a Mac and can be used within different apps. While this is a neat breakdown for end users, it’s of particular interest to developers because these fonts can be used to create custom App Store promo code cards that can be scanned in the same way as iTunes gift cards.

    Equinux outlines the exact font height to use and how to position it within the surrounding box to get Apple’s engine to recognize it, details the company uncovered after investing a lot of time in tweaking fonts and the border of the required box.

    Equinux even went one step further and created helpful Sketch and Photoshop templates that developers can use to create App Store promo code cards that can be automatically scanned using a device camera and recognized by the App Store.

    Apple sees iTunes market share slip as competition increases from Amazon & Comcast for films

    Despite its increasing focuses on Services revenue, Apple is struggling to draw users to the iTunes Store for movie purchases and rentals. According to a new in-depth report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple’s market share for renting and purchasing movies has fallen to between 20 percent and 35 percent, despite once being well over 50 percent as recently as 2012…

    Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

    The report cites “people with knowledge of the matter” and notes there are no third parties tracking digital movie market share, making it impossible to obtain exact numbers. Several movie studios, however, say there has been a notable decline in Apple’s share of the market.

    When asked for comment, Apple reportedly didn’t deny the market share statistics, but rather explained that it focuses on providing users with content from subscription services like Netflix and HBO through the App Store. The Apple spokeswoman also explained that movie rentals and purchases have increased over the last year, hitting their highest level in more than a decade.

    The WSJ notes, however, that Apple’s growth is more of a consequence of overall industry performance. Last year, digital movie rentals and sales increased 12 percent to $5.3 billion. The overall industry rise would explain how Apple is able to see its own numbers increase, despite losing market share.

    In the digital movie space, Apple is facing increased competition from two main companies: Amazon and Comcast. Amazon, thanks to its Prime membership service, has seen its market share in the digital movie industry increase to around 20 percent. Comcast, which rents and sells movies via its set-top boxes, now owns 15 percent of the market.

    “Comcast and Amazon have been quite aggressive of late and taken quite a lot of the business,” said Dennis Maguire, a former president of home entertainment for Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures.

    One area where Apple has been growing, however, is with independent films and with deals signed for films outside the major studio system:

    Apple’s loss of market share in the digital movie business isn’t uniform across genres, people who work with the company say. It has promoted independent films and signed deals for exclusive rights to some produced outside the major studio system, making it a stronger competitor in that space.

    In the past, it has been reported that Apple is pushing to offer home rentals for movies that are still in theaters.  The negotiations here are still in the early stages, though studios are said to be mulling a $30 price tag. Whether or not anything ever comes of these talks remains to be seen, but renting theatrical movies would certainly give Apple a leg up on the competition.

    Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news!