Apple is talking to movie studios about streaming content, according to a report. That would put it on a tighter collision course with Amazon and its Kindle Fire tablet.
Apple is talking with movie studios
about storing films in the cloud and streaming them to iOS devices, according
to a handful of new reports.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the plan, which will take
effect either later this year or early 2012, will let users purchase streaming
movies via the iTunes Store. The LA Times cited unnamed sources for the
If verified, it would place Apple on a
more direct collision course with Amazon, whose Kindle Fire tablet promises to
compete with the iPad for consumer dollars this holiday season, and Netflix,
which provides its subscribers with streaming content. It would also signify
Apple's ever-deeper foray into the cloud, where it already lets users store
music and other data.
Apple's chief competition in that arena
includes Amazon's cloud-based locker and player for music, in addition to its video-streaming
services through Amazon Prime, and Google's growing portfolio of cloud
services. Certainly Amazon and Google have designs on larger areas of the
cloud, including services and applications for corporations, that Apple seems
intent on avoiding for the moment. But in the consumer space, the cloud
competition is more intense than ever.
Amazon's Kindle Fire, priced at $199.99
and available in mid-November, is less a robust tablet (it lacks a camera and
access to a 3G or 4G network, for example) and more a hardware conduit for
content from the Web and Amazon's Website. In conjunction with Amazon's
streaming service, that makes it a viable iPad challenger for those tablet
shoppers who want a device solely for multimedia. If Apple secures a series of
streaming-content deals for the iPad and iPhone, it could help even the playing
field in that regard.
In conjunction with its new iCloud
service, Apple has also included a raft of security patches for Mac OS X, iOS
and associated software. So far, users trying to download the new version of
iTunes, and from there the new iOS 5 operating system, have reportedly strained
Apple's servers, leading to error messages and irate users on Twitter and Apple
As a company, Apple is also dealing
with the death of co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, who passed away the day
after the iPhone 4S debuted Oct. 4. Under Jobs' leadership, the company rolled
out a line of hit products such as the iPhone, the iPod and the MacBook Air.
Current CEO Tim Cook now has the responsibility of guiding the company forward,
although reports indicate that Jobs left several years' worth of product plans
before his death.
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Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.