Oh Apple, you adorable little perpetrators of constant media furore. What do you have stuck up your happy pipe this time? Could it be the iTunes movie store? Or 23-inch iMacs? Or are you going to release a range of nanos in glorious multicolours? Whatever it might be, we're all manning the rumour mill for you. Our calloused journalist fingers are grinding the flour of your ever-growing wealth and mainstream appeal. All will be revealed at your press conference on the 12th. Thank you great ones, oh thank you.
Old Jobsey's canoodling with Disney is rumoured to have paid off well, and top speculators predict "Disney movies as far as the eye can see" from the iTunes store. Initial pricing is thought to be $9.99 for old movies and $14.99 for new (no UK pricing yet). Other studios thought to be contributing specific titles include Miramax, Touchstone, Pixar (shock!) and Lion's Gate Entertainment. Among the first movies expected to be available are American Psycho, Requiem for a Dream and Fahrenheit 9/11 -- pretty incendiary stuff.
So what does Apple have to gain from the iTunes movie store? Well, given the fairly moderate adoption of portable video devices, it might struggle to claim any huge victory at this stage. Most of us have too much self-respect to sit on the train watching episodes of 24, while poorer people gaze soullessly at tabloids and quietly weigh up the risks of mugging us.
What Apple is actually doing is wedging its shiny white foot in the door, waiting for the moment when downloads become full-res HD content. Establishing a good relationship with studios now will be essential if Apple's ultimate dream is to be realised. Apple dreams of a future where the Mac is the centre of your home entertainment system, a role Microsoft has longed to play for years. Coupling a smooth delivery system for movies with a Mac Mini could cut the much wounded Vistanator out of the picture. Apple wants to own the living room and it's pumping iron like a little league steroid addict.
To those dissenters who doubt Apple will launch an iTunes movie store on Tuesday, I say take a look at the Zeus damn invitation you communists! It very clearly depicts a set of curtains and the words, "It's showtime!" -- what else could it mean? God, you readers sicken me with your uncertainty. Let the battle for the hearts and minds of the couch potatoes begin. -CS