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Apple surges past Wal-Mart in Online Retail
Apple surges past Wal-Mart in Online Retail
By: iMedia News Bureau

Apple has set lots of records so far and will continue doing so; we all have to happily agree on one point that technology would not have been so evolved if Apple wouldn’t have been there but not only technology but it has turned the online retail also upside down.

Apple got more traffic online last month than Walmart Stores. In fact, Apple is the only retailer other than Amazon and eBay in the top 15 most-visited websites in the U.S. in November, according to ComScore.

The only way this could become possible is iTunes. The digital-content store made up about 30% of Apple's more than 79 million in U.S. unique visitors last month. Apple gets almost as many web visitors as the largest newspaper site, that of The New York Times.

iTunes is a media player computer program, used for playing, downloading, and organizing digital music and video files on desktop computers. It can also manage contents on iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

iTunes can connect to the iTunes Store to purchase and download music, music videos, television shows, iPod games, audiobooks, podcasts, movies and movie rentals (not available in all countries), and ringtones (only available on iPhone and iPod Touch 4th Generation). It is also used to download application software from the App Store for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. iTunes has been criticized for not being able to transfer music from one portable device to another.

iTunes was introduced by Apple Inc. on January 9, 2001. The latest version, which is currently version 10.5.2, is available as a free download for Mac OS X v10.5 or later, as well as Windows XP or later. In June 2010, Apple released a new privacy policy pertaining to the capture and collection of users' real-time location information. The information had been included in various device-specific EULAs since 2008, but was not included in Apple's general privacy policy until 2010. In 2012 Brazil will be the first country in South America to have a local version of the program.

Huge iTunes traffic is good news for publishers looking to sell their products online. Digital content, which includes books, music and TV shows, is the fastest-growing e-commerce category by sales this holiday shopping season, ComScore has found. Overall e-commerce sales are up about 15% from last year, but digital-content sales growth is double that.

As part of iCloud, iTunes in the Cloud takes what you buy on iTunes on one device and pushes it to all your other devices, wirelessly and without syncing. And with iTunes Match, even the songs you’ve imported from CDs are stored in iCloud — so you can access them on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, or PC. This new offering by Apple has surely increased the incoming of loyal customers.

With iTunes in the Cloud, the music you download to one device automatically appears on all your devices. So the song you buy from your Mac at work is ready and waiting for you on your iPhone when it’s time to drive home. Regardless of where you click or tap Buy, iTunes will automatically download your new songs, apps, and books to your other devices over Wi-Fi or 3G.

When you buy a song, TV show, app, or book from the App Store or the iTunes Store, iCloud stores it in your purchase history. So you can download what you want, from any of your devices, to whichever devices you choose. For example, if you don’t want your iPad to automatically download everything you buy on your iPhone, you can choose just the things you do want to download — song by song, episode by episode, app by app, and book by book.

Here’s how it works: iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to iCloud for you to listen to anytime, on any device. Since there are more than 20 million songs in the iTunes Store, chances are, your music is already in iCloud. And for the few songs that aren’t, iTunes has to upload only what it can’t match. This is much faster than starting from scratch. Once your music is in iCloud, you can stream and store it to any of your devices. Even better, all the music iTunes matches plays back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality — even if your original copy was of lower quality. With so much of features and convenience provided to the users who would not want to visit the online store.

More content is downloaded on Christmas Day than any other day of the year. It has been named "Download Day", because consumers load up new gadgets, which this year are likely to include Apple iPhones and iPads as well as Amazon Kindle Fires. The week between Christmas and New Year continues to be the heaviest download period of the year.  

Apple was the No. 13 web property ranked by U.S. unique visitors in November. Amazon is the biggest retailer by this measure, at No. 5. Ebay ranks No. 15, and Walmart No. 18.