Apple Likely Close To Offering Movie Rentals

Apple has been repeatedly rumored to be close to offering movie rentals from the iTunes Music Store, and one blogger claims to be holding the answer as to when this may happen.

Evan DiBiase, a student at Carnegie Mellon University, says that while doing a dump of the strings from the old version of iTunes to compare them with the new ones, he discovered several new strings.

In the new 7.5 upgrade just released this week, several new strings pop up. They are: rental-content, rental-bag, rbsync, source-rental-info, dest-rental-info, getvodaccountselectionlist, GET VOD ACCOUNT SELECTION LIST, and supportsRentals.

These strings seem to suggest that Apple may finally be ready to add rentals to its list of available content options on iTunes. It also may help the Cupertino company to finally have a value proposition for one of its most overlooked products.

"I would sure get more use out of my Apple TV," DiBiase wrote Wednesday.

The first rumors about movie rentals began to surface just before the company announced plans to offer feature length films through iTunes. Rentals may also be another way to get many of the companies still unwilling to sell movies through the service to jump on board.

Some analysis believe that this is what Apple needs. "We've been predicting that Apple was going to provide rentals for about five months now," Blackfriars Communications analyst Carl Howe said. "It will give a nice bump to Apple TV sales over the holidays, which we had also predicted would remain low until this release."

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