“In a bid to win customers from market leader and now fierce rival Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) , RealNetworks (Nasdaq: RNWK) said Tuesday it would offer 49-cent music downloads, a price-slashing move that the company admitted would cut into its profits.
Real said it would cut its prices in half, offering single-song downloads for 49 cents and full albums for US$4.99. Real said the promotion was for a limited time but did not say how long it would last. Most songs at Apple’s iTunes Music Store sell for 99 cents.
The price war comes as tensions between Real and Apple have reached new heights. Apple recently likened the rival company’s “tactics and ethics” to those of “hackers” after Real debuted a program, dubbed Harmony, that makes all downloaded songs playable on all devices, including Apple’s iPod.
Previously, only songs downloaded from Apple’s iTunes site could be played on its wildly popular device.” [Source: E-Commerce Times]