updated 10:55 am EDT, Tue May 26, 2009
Movies and TV on iPhone?
Apple may soon allow the iPhone and iPod touch to directly access movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store, a leak suggests. In using an ad-supported version of Twitterfon, one user claims to have encountered a banner promoting not just purchases of videos from iTunes, but also movie rentals. At present the main means of shuttling iTunes video to an Apple handheld is through sync with a Mac or PC; the one exception is podcasts.
Tapping the banner ad is said to bring up a browser similar to that for the mobile Music Store, with options viewing Featured, Top Ten or Podcast videos, as well as custom searches. A number of movies and TV shows are already listed as available, although attempting to load details on an item only produces an error message. The browser is similarly lacking in some key art assets, namely the promotional "squish" boxes that Apple uses throughout the iTunes Store.
Should Apple indeed open up all videos to handhelds, it is likely that most titles will only be available through Wi-Fi, due to the intense bandwidth demand. The company currently limits all individual 3G iTunes transfers to 10MB. Such a limit could in theory be raised, however, if a next-generation iPhone supports bandwidth up to 7.2Mbps.