Apple has not had it very easy when trying to get their hands on Blu-Ray technology; even if they really, really wanted to at its release.
Firstly, an early on licensing issue with Sony, Panasonic and Phillips halted any possibility of the introduction of this technology into any other companies, let alone Apple. In reaction to this Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple famously spoke of Blu-Ray as a 'bag of hurt' last year.
Whilst this issue was being dealt with, Jobs was eager to see how Blu-Ray took off in the market, it was an expensive technology initially and Jobs seemed unconvinced that it was something for the Apple consumer. Since Blu-Ray's release, the market has settled a little and it seems to be integrating itself well. New rumours that Microsoft's latest Xbox offering may have the technology in it have certainly given Blu-Ray a boost.
In terms of licensing issues, Since Blu-Ray's release a joint announcement has been made between Sony, Panasonic and Phillips stating that other companies wishing to get their hands on this technology will now have a cheaper, and simpler licensing process to undergo. This was positive news for companies like Apple, wishing to get their hands on the technology. However, Apple had another niggling issue to deal with when it came to making a decision to take on Blu-Ray.
Apple provide an iTunes based movie rentals and downloads service. This actively competes with Blu-Ray, so if Apple is eager for its users to take a step forward by using digital media, is it a regression to consider using disk based media? Should the rumours be true and Apple are planning to start introducing Blu-Ray, (even just as an optional extra) its certainly a good sign that they are offering their users a choice of both formats.
With this in mind, I can tell you that some screen shots of the new iTunes 8.2 have just been leaked. These state that the new iTunes will support Blu-Ray technology. Perhaps this is a sign that Apple are indeed making the Blu-Ray leap and redying their new machines to be compatible? To see if I could find out more, I got in touch with the Apple PR people and they politely said that they couldn't comment.
I guess the real question is, will Blu-Ray be something welcomed by Apple users? I think I'll welcome it.