updated 1/9/2007 12:39:20 PM ET 2007-01-09T17:39:20

Apple Computer Inc. has sold more than 2 billion songs through its popular iTunes download service, catapulting the company into the top ranks of music sellers worldwide.

Apple, which sells 58 songs per second, or 5 million songs a day, sells more songs than Amazon.com. It ranks behind Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target as a music retailer, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said at the start of his annual keynote at the Macworld Conference & Expo.

“We couldn’t be happier with the growth rate of iTunes,” he said.

Jobs also announced that Apple will sell digital movies from Paramount through iTunes. Apple has partnered with Disney for several months, offering about 100 movies. With Paramount’s selection, it will have 250 movies available for downloading on the service.

Industry experts also expect Jobs to unveil at least one new product during the two-hour address. Speculation has centered around a cell phone capable of downloading and playing music, and a set-top box that allows people to stream video from their computers to their televisions.

Either of those products would mean Apple is delving deeper into consumer electronics and straying farther from the computer business that has sustained the Cupertino-based company for more than three decades.

But it remains to be seen whether the king of digital music can colonize an entirely new category of gadgets. Apple could use a megahit along the lines of its iconic iPod music player to divert investors’ attention from the stock options-backdating scandal that has tainted its reputation.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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