The iTunes and App Store redesigns aim to make both stores a more interactive, engaging and user-friendly experience

For the first time since 2009, Apple will launch major updates for its iTunes Store and App Store this year.

The iTunes and App Store redesigns aim to make both stores a more interactive, engaging and user-friendly experience. The changes will reportedly be made to the iTunes Music, TV Show, Movies and App Store sections.

Apple is heavily focusing on making a design that runs iTunes smoothly on both Mac and PC. This move would help keep iTunes competitive among other services that are becoming increasingly popular. However, it is currently unclear if the new iTunes store will launch along with a new version of the iTunes application for PC and Mac.

Apple last made an update to the iTunes Store back in 2009, when the company aimed to make the store simpler to use.

iTunes 10.5.3 running on OS X Lion

The iOS iTunes and App Stores could see some changes as well. In the past, users have complained about the difficulty of finding new software for their mobile Apple products, such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. According to 9 to 5 Mac, Apple is looking to eventually fix this as well by not only redesigning the store, but also likely updating the iOS versions of the company's multimedia stores. Reports say it's unlikely that the iOS overhaul will launch at the same time as the iTunes Store and App Store redesign for Mac and PC.

Apple has to stay on its toes with iTunes and App Store updates in order to stay on top of the digital music and software industry -- especially with services like Amazon's online music store and Spotify stepping in to steal some of its customers. Spotify launched in the U.S. in July 2011, and Amazon's online music store can now be accessed easier than ever with the release of its first tablet, Kindle Fire. The race to offer competitive services that are cheap and easy to use is growing more and more intense.

The iTunes Store and App Store updates are expected to launch in late 2012.

Apple has plenty of other releases coming this year that will have Apple fans buzzing as well. During the first week of March, the iPad 3 will officially be announced. Also, OS X Mountain Lion is on its way for Mac fans.

Source: 9 to 5 Mac

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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