Is iTunes Signalling An Apple Slowdown?

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes Store is about to turn 10 years old, and after much success, it could be finally seeing a slowdown — the kind that the company appears to be seeing in many of its units.

The iTunes Store was launched at the end of April in 2003, a couple years after the iTunes music program was released on Apple devices to get music onto Apple’s then-new iPods. By May of 2003, 1 million songs had been download on iTunes. By the following December, that number reached 25 million. In February 2006, total downloads reached 1 billion, and 7 years later, they hit 25 billion.

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It’s no overstatement to say that the iTunes store has enjoyed some wild success. According to NPD group, about 80 percent of song purchases in the last quarter of 2012 were made through iTunes. Apple may be a bit more modest, claiming only 63 percent of the paid music download market. But, iTunes has expanded into movies and TV shows, and Apple has performed similarly in terms of market share for those areas as well.

There’s been a lot of worry that Apple’s growth is finally slowing down, and might not be rocketing straight up through the atmosphere anymore. The stock falling from over $700 a share to less than $400 was one of the major hints of that possibility. Many feel that the company lost its innovative edge with the loss of Steve Jobs, and innovation has been a key buzzword for Apple. Losing “innovation” for Apple would be comparable to McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) or another fast food restaurant losing “fast.”…