As expected, Apple Computers will now begin offering its users a chance to buy movies through its popular iTunes software and will start marketing new versions of the iPod with more memory and better video capability.
At a marketing event in San Francisco on Sept. 12, Apple CEO Steven Jobs announced what had been expected for almost a week—his companys popular iPod and iTunes would further enter the digital entertainment market by offering movies, NFL highlights and videogames.
Apples iTunes already offers music downloads and television shows for users iPods. The Cupertino, Calif., company claims it has sold more than 35 million videos through iTunes and more than 1 billion songs.
Several experts and Apple watchers thought the company would refresh its iPod line at the Worldwide Developers Conference in August 2006. Instead the company unveiled its new line of Macintosh desktops and notebooks.
By its own estimates, Apple owns about 75 percent of the digital video and music market and the Sept. 12 event was a way to ensure that it would remain the market leader in the face of new competition, especially from rival Microsoft.
At the event, Jobs announced that he had partnered with Walt Disney Studios and its subsidiaries—Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films—and would begin offering new movies as well as movies from the film studios catalogue.
The films can either be downloaded to an iPod or played on a computer with iTunes.
Jobs also unveiled a new line of iPods. The company will now offer the original iPod will either 30GB for $249 or an 80GB model for $349. The company said the new model iPods will come with a 2.5-inch color display and will be 60 percent brighter than older models.
Apple will also sell a new 8GB iPod nano—the small, slimmer version of the original iPod—for $249. A new iPod shuffle was also introduced for $79.
New movies on iTunes will sell for $12.99 during the first week of release and then sell for $14.99. The older Disney movie catalogue will sell for $9.99.