Apple falls short of 1,000 movie rentals

Company said it would have 1,000 titles available for rental through the iTunes Store by the end of February, but fewer than 400 have actually appeared.

Tech Industry

Apple fell far short of its goal of rolling out 1,000 movies for rent through the iTunes Store by the end of February.

Macworld's Christopher Breen checked in Friday on Apple's promise, and found that just 351 titles are available to rent through the latest version of Apple TV. If you check the iTunes Store from a Mac or PC, there are 399 movies available to rent. Breen notes that even if you include all the movies available through the iTunes Store, for both purchase and rentals, there are only 770 available.

Apple missed its target of having 1,000 movies available for rent by the end of February. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

At Macworld, when Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the rental service, the company promised to have 1,000 titles available for rent by the end of February. Apple TV owners seem pleased with the rental service so far, but a limited selection will slow its growth.

For example, Netflix says it has over 6,000 movies and television shows available for downloading through its Web site. Still, there's an awful lot of filler there. Netflix counts the 2005 NCAA men's lacrosse championship game (Go Johns Hopkins!) as a selection, as well as "Learn Yu-Gi-Oh!: Level 2: Advanced," where you gain insight on how to deploy your Continuous Spell Cards.

Apple also missed its goal of shipping a software development kit for the iPhone by the end of February, although we'll learn details about that SDK for the first time later this week during an event at Apple's headquarters. It will be interesting to see as well what Apple shareholders have to say to Jobs on Tuesday during the company's annual meeting.

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