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Rental movies may be next for iTunes Store customers

The Baltimore Sun

People visiting the iTunes Store customer feedback page have reported seeing references to a "RentalMovie" category, according to Forbes.com.

This could well mean we'll see rental movies at the iTunes Store very soon. Usually slip-ups like this foreshadow a formal announcement from Apple within days.

As far back as June, FT.com had reported that Apple was in talks with several major Hollywood studios about offering 30-day movie rentals for $2.99. The iTunes Store currently sells movies for $14.99.

The rental movies presumably could be viewed on a computer, video-enabled iPod (now that we have more to choose from) or iPhone and naturally would include Digital Rights Management to prevent illegal copying. If you want to own a movie, you'll still have to pay the full price.

This could be yet another way for Apple to leverage an existing asset -- the iTunes Store -- to generate a little extra profit. It also sounds like something that should be integrated into Apple TV, one of the few Apple products that could use a little more love from the mother ship.

David Zeiler blogs about Macs and other Apple products at baltimoresun.com/apple.

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