Apple: New iPhone Features and Online Movie Rentals

Apple, Inc. unveiled several new iPhone features Tuesday along with an ultra-slim notebook and an online movie rental service targeting portable devices and televisions. Apple CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated several new features of the iPod-cell phone-Internet surfing device. With 4 million iPhones sold during their first 200 days on sale, iPhone users now have the ability to pinpoint their location on web maps, customize up to nine home screens and text message multiple people at once. Jobs also said the iPod Touch music player will now allow users to process email and perform mapping functions just like the iPhone. Also, in a push to deliver video to portable devices and televisions over the Internet, Apple unveiled its much expected venture into the online movie rental business. With it’s already broad iTunes customer base, Apple is poised to lead the way into online movie space and as a result has already formed media alliances with six major movie studios, including Sony Pictures and Universal. This service, which launched today, makes films available to it’s millions of iTunes customers and will work on Macs, Windows-based machines, iPhones, iPods or Apple TV set-top boxes. For as little as $2.99 for older movies and $3.99 for new released, users can watch movies instantly through a broadband Internet connection or download and save the film for up to 30 days. Films are available within 30 days of being released on DVD and an inventory of more than 1,000 movies is expected by the end of February. ---Randy Swisher - Editor, The Digest