Apple adds private iTunes Store pages, displaying odd new touch device icon [updated]

In addition to unveiling the App Store, a section of the iTunes Store devoted to selling software for iPhones and iPod touches, Apple today announced that it would enable selected developers to create their own private pages on the App Store to distribute content to a limited audience, rather than the entirety of the Apple customer base. Developers interested in creating their own App Store pages must register for the iPhone’s $299 Enterprise Program, rather than its standard $99 program.

iLounge Editor Jesse Hollington notes that private pages have already started to appear on the iTunes Store for limited distribution of standard media, such as unprotected audio and video, as shown in the screenshot above. These pages can be university- or company-specific, providing educational or other types of materials, and are not visible to the general iTunes user population. In the Education First Educational Tours example here, a user registered with an international travel tour is provided access to TourCast audio and video tracks through the iTunes U section of the iTunes Store. Unusually, the private page features an image of a touchscreen iPod/iPhone-style device with curves and a Home button-pressing dock never seen before; it is unclear whether this is meant to generically suggest iPod and iPhone compatibility, or represents a yet-to-be-announced Apple product.

Update: An Education First designer has responded in the comments to say that the mysterious device shown above was actually the result of image editing, and does not depict any current or future Apple product.