Apple planning to offer movie download services, analysts say

Apple may soon launch a service that allows users to download feature-length films, boosting its presence in the digital home, analysts, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

Apple had earlier sent out email invitations for a "special event" on September 12 in San Francisco. The invitation featured the Apple logo and the phrase "It's Showtime" against a backdrop of Hollywood-style opening-night spotlights, the report said.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to comment beyond the invitation. "They've done really well in music, they've done well in music videos and they've done well in TV shows, so logically movies are the next area of focus," said Shaw Wu, an analyst at American Technology Research, who had a "buy" rating on the stock. "It's a first kind of bigger step in the direction of movie content."

Wu and UBS analyst Ben Reitzes, who also had a "buy" rating on the stock, both said they expected Apple to unveil a movie download service at next week's event, according to the report.
Wu does not own Apple stock and his firm does not provide investment banking advice to Apple, according to American Technology disclosures.

UBS has been an investment banker for Apple and Reitzes or a member of his team or family holds the stock, according to a UBS disclosure.