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Apple to 'launch full movie downloads' next week

One billion songs sold

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Apple will next week announce that it's going to start selling full-length movie downloads through the iTunes Music Store, if the forecast of a US market watcher is correct. The prediction comes in the week the company passed the 1bn music downloads mark.

The one billionth song was downloaded early this morning, Apple said, nine weeks shy of ITMS' third birthday. At this rate, the store should have sold 1.5bn songs by the end of the year - sometime in the Summer, we'd say. Song number 2bn should be downloaded early in 2007, but again, that's assuming Apple continues to experience an exponential growth rate.

Adding movie downloads will undoubtedly help, if only by raising ITMS' profile even further as a one-stop content shop. The forecast that that's what Apple will announce next week comes from American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu, who told clients "there is a greater than 50 per cent chance that Apple will announce its first, full-length feature films available for download on iTunes", Macworld UK reports.

Wu also joined the chorus of claims Apple will announce Intel-based iBooks and an "entry-level Mac Mini, both of which will now include a remote control and FrontRow software".

"What will make this new consumer notebook unique and likely a top seller is its small size and widescreen cinema display. Pricing should be competitive in the $1,299 to $1,499 range," he added.

Apple is holding an event to launch "fun products" next week (Feb 28). ®

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