Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster believes that iTunes Store movie rentals could happen as soon as January’s Macworld Conference and Expo.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is scheduled to deliver his Macworld Conference and Expo keynote presentation in San Francisco on Tuesday, January 15, 2008, 9:00-10:30am PT.
Don Reisinger blogs for CNET, “Munster also believes the Apple TV will play a key role in the launch. ‘If Apple begins renting movie downloads on iTunes, we expect a related software update to the Apple TV enabling movie rentals direct to the Apple TV. In fact, the Apple TV software currently includes ‘iTunes Store settings’ in its settings menu, but the option is essentially inactive,’ he wrote. ‘We expect this setting to be activated soon; users will likely be able to log into their iTunes accounts directly from the Apple TV and browse movie rentals, then download them directly to their Apple TV.'”
Reisinger reports, “Munster explained, ‘We have been expecting iTunes movie rentals for nearly one year, but due to pricing disagreements and DRM-related issues, the studios and Apple have not yet come to an agreement.'”
“And therein lies the rub,” Reisinger writes. “Once again, we’re at the mercy of a group of movie studios who have no idea what we want or how to bring it to us. Why should we not be given the service we want because some idiot at MGM is deathly afraid of his precious B-movies getting pirated? Got news for you, friend: it’s already happening, and adding more DRM won’t work.”
“While Steve Jobs called the device a ‘hobby,’ and most are speculating that it’s an 18-month trial product to see if there’s any interest from consumers, iTunes movie rentals could have a profound impact on Apple TV sales, if integrated with the device properly,” Reisinger writes.
Full article here.