According to Bloomberg, Apple is gearing up for a media event on Sept. 7 at which Apple is rumored to announce 99-cent TV show rentals from major networks, a price drop of $2 compared to the current cost of purchasing a TV episode. This is a departure from past attempts at offering a TV show subscription in iTunes.
If the rumor proves true, consumers can expect to rent TV Shows from Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS and Time Warner (though talks are still in the works for the latter three networks). Bloomberg reports that unlike shows watched on Hulu, these 99-cent rentals would be free of commercials. The rentals would appear a day after the show airs and be valid for a period of 24 hours after purchase. Rentals would be watchable on any device running iTunes or iOS such as your computer, iPad or iPhone.
If Apple is able to offer consumers cheap TV show rentals, it could offer consumers a better value than Amazon, which prices HD TV shows at $2.99 to own, or Hulu Plus, which offers a subscription to streaming numerous TV shows for $9.99 a month.
But that's not all: The TV is still the best place to watch TV shows in many households and Apple is expected to refresh its living room computer, the Apple TV, as a newer, smaller and cheaper Apple iTV. The rumored device is expected to run the same software as your iPhone, support apps, 720P HD video and cost just $99.
Another announcement that consumers might see on Sept. 7 involves a new iPod Touch that shares hardware traits with the iPhone 4 such as a front facing camera for FaceTime chats and the new high-res retina display. The timing of this rumor would make sense, given that Apple's Buy a Mac Get a Free iPod Touch promotion ends on Sept. 7 and the iPod Touch is due for a refresh. If Apple does announce a new iPod Touch, the price will not likely change.
Unless you plan to get a free iPod Touch as part of a back-to-school computer purchase, you should hold off until Sept. 7 in case there is a new iPod Touch, 99-cent iTunes TV show rentals, or an Apple TV announcement.
Apple rumored to be planning 99-cent TV show rentals, iTV and new iPod Touch