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Apple to Bow Movie Digital Locker

13 Oct, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

On the heels of its iCloud music and photo virtual storage system, Apple is expected to add major studio home entertainment releases by the end of the year or 2012, a report says

Apple reportedly is working with studios to bow a cloud-based digital locker that would rival UltraViolet and Walt Disney’s Disney Studio All Access platform as early as the end of the year.

Apple — which single-handedly created the tablet micro computer market and redefined music and mobile phone markets with launches of the iPad, iPod, iTunes and iPhone — is finalizing deals with studios that would allow consumers to buy movies at iTunes, store them in the cloud and access them on any Apple device, according to The Los Angeles Times, which cited sources familiar with the situation.

UltraViolet, which launched Oct. 11 with Warner Home Video’s title Horrible Bosses, does not accommodate Apple’s iOS operating system. Apple’s system does not accommodate Adobe Flash video — the UltraViolet video format.

UltraViolet, iCloud and All Access are media companies’ attempts to buttress physical and digital sellthrough of movies and TV shows. UltraViolet and All Access also accommodate storing physical media purchases such as DVDs and Blu-ray Discs. For an additional fee, users can upload copies of previously purchased physical media to UltraViolet. Apple, which recently discontinued disc drives in its mini Macs, only would feature electronic sellthrough.

“This is going to be a huge boost to a struggling online movie business,” Arash Amel, digital media research director for IHS, told the Times.

While many observers have questioned the existence of competing cloud-based systems or whether it would appeal to consumers, let alone be comprehensible. Amel told the Times Apple’s legacy mainstreaming technology could be just what home entertainment needs.

“Apple is going to make it work right off the bat,” he said.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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