Will the Next Apple TV Include 99-Cent Rentals?

Rumors of the next Apple TV have been running rampant since the iPad was announced.  The most recent rumors are that the new version will have a much smaller box, with very little of no local storage to speak of.  All the content would likely stream from the Internet or from other computers on the network.  We’ve also been hearing that the next Apple TV could run on iOS – the same system as the iPad and iPhone.

Now, the rumor-mill is abuzz over the possibility that the next Apple TV will launch with the ability to rent TV shows from iTunes.  Renting isn’t new to iTunes, but it’s only available for movies at the moment.  Movie rentals through the iTunes Store typically cost $3.99 for SD movies, and $4.99 for HD movies.  Some, however, go for $0.99 for SD (standard definition) and $1.99 for HD.  The rumors for the TV Rentals would place single episodes at $0.99, which would be $1 less than owning the SD version of most shows. {CrunchGear}

These TV shows would likely be streamed to Apple TVs rather than downloaded, which would mean no waiting for the episode, just buy and watch instantly.  As always, the rentals would be available for 30 days until you start watching them, and then another 24 hours after starting the show to watch as many times as you’d like.

This would be a big deal for the Apple TV, but also for other iOS devices, the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.  Being able to stream rented TV shows for $0.99 would be a great thing for those who travel a lot.  It would eat up a bit of the 2 GB data cap on AT&T’s network, but with WiFi it wouldn’t be a problem at all.  Now, if only Apple would bring out cheaper plans to rent full seasons as the shows release, that would be even greater.  A rent-as-shows-come TV service paired with Hulu Plus and Netflix could easily replace Cable (minus the sports, of course).


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