Apple looking to kill Ping in next iTunes update

Contrary to popular belief (in certain circles), Apple isn’t perfect. Among its many hit products like the iPhone or the iPad, and popular software releases like iOS, there has been a few failures.

Ping, the company’s music-focused social networking service, certainly falls into that category. It’s just never really gained much user-traction. And rumor has it, it’s on its way out…

All Things Digital‘s Apple guru John Paczkowski reports:

“And rather than continue to maintain Ping, the company is abandoning it and using its partnerships with Twitter and Facebook to make its various software and service offerings social in a way that consumers actually care about.

Sources close to the company say that Ping, which still exists today in iTunes 10.6.3, will be gone with the software’s next major release, likely scheduled for this fall. And at that point Apple’s social networking offerings will shift to Twitter and new partner Facebook entirely.”

Paczkowski has a pretty good track record with Apple rumors, accurately predicting iPad 3 and iOS 6 details ahead of their announcements. Besides, we’re not sure anyone would be surprised at Ping’s retirement.

Apple launched Ping less than two years ago, as a way for iTunes users to discover new music. But when an important deal with Facebook fell through, and user activity dropped, it seemed the service was destined to fail.

It’s worth noting that DaringFireball‘s John Gruber, a well-known Apple pundit, says he’s hearing that the company is still deciding what to do with its Ping platform. But honestly, between Tim Cook’s D10 comments, and the recent iOS 6 announcements, we’d be surprised if it made it past the fall.

Does anyone still use Ping?