Apple, Amazon silent on online movie service plan

US companies Apple and Amazon.com remained mum regarding reports that each was poised to launch online movie services, an AFP report said.

'Apple doesn't comment on rumor or speculation,' a spokesman for the Cupertino, California, company told AFP.

Amazon also had nothing to say regarding the reports, according to Sean Sundwall, public relations manager at the Seattle, Washington-based firm.

'There has been a lot of speculations for a long time that Amazon will do some digital media download service,' Michael McGuire, VP of research at Gartner was quoted by AFP as saying.

Suspicion that Apple was getting into the movie download mix was ignited by enigmatic, Hollywood-themed invitations the company sent out last week for a press event in San Francisco on Sept. 12.

Industry trackers contend that Apple is overdue to unveil some kind of iPod innovation, and the spotlight graphics on the curt press-event invitation was deemed a signal that digital distribution of films would be involved.

Talk of a possible iPod model with a larger screen meshed with the theory that Apple would begin selling movies at its iTunes online store in a manner consistent with its penchant for fixed price categories, the AFP report said.

'It is all just speculation,' Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg told AFP. 'Especially when it comes to Apple, which has shown that crucial ability to withhold the one detail that makes all the difference.'

The success or failure of any iPod innovation would hinge on key variables such as price, when it would be available and what partners were involved, Gartenberg said, according to the report.

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