Apple launches iTunes UK film downloads

Apple has finally given the go ahead so that movie fans in the UK can now rent and buy films through Apple's iTunes music store.

The company announced a series of deals with major Hollywood studios enabling them to offer films to the UK market. Customers will be able to download the films to their computers, and watch them on a PC or Mac, or transfer them to their iPod, iPhone or Apple TV set-top box. The cost of buying a film will range from £6.99 for classic "library" titles to £10.99 for new releases.

Movie rentals will start at £2.49 for library titles, and £3.49 for the latest blockbusters. High-definition versions of movies will costs £1 more in all instances. The prices offerings mean UK customers will pay significantly more for their movie rentals than their US counterparts. Classic movies cost $2.99 (£1.50) to rent in the US, with new releases priced at $3.99 (£2).

Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, has in the past blamed such pricing discrepancies on VAT, and the fact that doing business in the UK is "more expensive" than in the US.

Apple said that customers with broadband internet connections will be able to start watching a film within seconds of choosing to rent it, and will then have 30 days to watch their rented movie before the download expires.

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They also made movies available in Canada yesterday. Not really the greatest prices. Think its like $3.99 per rental. Or up to $19 to buy. Honestly wtf? The industry just doesnt get it. Why would I buy from itunes if I could go out and rent the movie without having to wait for it to download from blockbuster? Or go to a shop and buy the movie and have all the packaging and no wait for the same price if not lower?
I know this isnt Apples fault either. Its god damn retarded. Then they wonder why people dont use services like this here.

Well, depending on the speed of your connection films downloading can be watched pretty damn quickly... And one reason to download rather than go to Blockbuster is to save you the trip (and the gas) of going there and back!

But i agree that the price needs to be lower, even in the US. Otherwise Netflix will clean up...

Heh. I'd much rather spend the extra $1 and get the movie on, oh I don't know... a DVD!!! Those things play on my television or my computer, the screens are so big and scary compared to iPod screens. Steve should try it sometime. C'mon, it's only a buck more!

What is the point viewing pocket sizes movies? If the film is any good, then it is best experienced at the cinema, failing that,
on a nice big screen DVD. What is it with the postage stamp sized blurred image YouTube generation? Why on earth do film makers go to all the trouble of creating expensive master-pieces, so sad people can watch them on their phone!
Am I missing something? Is this the reason why our Internet connections are going to s##t

In the US itunes offers 640x480 movies, in europe I guess they'll go 576p/i, which is SDTV quality, which is supposed to look exactly like a DVD on an SDTV. So no youtube generation here!

The prices offerings mean UK customers will pay significantly more for their movie rentals than their US counterparts.