Q: Could the iPod support a subscription service if Apple wanted it to? Could it provide the “secure clock” functionality that Microsoft’s new DRM relies on?
A: The answer is in your question: “if Apple wanted it to” is the key. While we are not privy to Apple’s plans, it is likely that Apple could develop a clock-based DRM (digital rights management) system similar to Microsoft’s Janus, if they wanted to.
But Apple has long believed that people want to own, not rent, their music. Only time will tell if subscription services are successful.