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Apple bites into rental business

  |   Sept. 1, 2010 at 5:35 PM
CUPERTINO, Calif., Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs made it official Wednesday: The Cupertino, Calif., computer giant soon will offer 99-cent TV show rentals on iTunes.

Apple said it would offer streaming rentals of shows from Fox, ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel and BBC America as part of the launch of a massive revision of its Apple TV services, Variety reported.

Users may watch a show for 30 days from the moment the episode is rented, and once it starts playing users have 48 hours to finish watching it, Jobs said.

The new hardware, expected to be available in about four weeks for $99, is the biggest revision of Apple TV since it was introduced in September 2006, Variety said. While users can't buy movies or TV shows, they will be able to rent a video release for $4.99 synced by day and date with the DVD release, and TV segments for 99 cents.

Rentals are expected to begin in about a month, once the hardware becomes available, Jobs said.

"Users want Hollywood movies and TV shows when they want them," Jobs said. "They don't want amateur hour. They want professional content."

The new Apple TV will offer Netflix's instant streaming service, and allow people to stream content from their home computers.

Apple also announced the debut of Ping, a new social network revolving around people's music choices.

"It's like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes," Jobs said. "It's a social network all about music."

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