The rumor du jour is that Apple will announce movie downloads from the iTunes Music Store by year’s end. The rumor that won’t die was substantiated by Variety today with quotes from unnamed sources within the movie industry.
The article also talks about movie studios balking at the single $9.99 price point that Jobs has proposed, getting Apple to relent to a two-tiered pricing system of $19.99 for new releases and $9.99 for catalog titles.
While I have no doubt that this rumor is true, two other products must be released to make this happen. First, a new widescreen iPod must be released and more importantly, a device for the living room needs to be released as well. Why? Movie downloads are great, but the screen on the current iPod is too small for movie viewing and more importantly, the market for video at home (vs. on the go) is much, much larger.
What is the living room device? I’m not sure what form it will take, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a Mac Mini, as it is too expensive and might scare Windows users (the larger market) away.