Over at infinite Loop, Former TUAW heavyweight David Chartier posts that Apple will soon be paying a $15 per movie wholesale price to the movie studios. David sees this as Apple caving into Hollywood after a tense face-off.
Me? I see this another way. I don't believe the movie sales over at the iTunes store have been all that hugely successful. With competition from Walmart and weak consumer interest, I think Apple is changing its direction. Instead of movie sales, I'm thinking movie rentals. We've seen evidence for this both on the Mac in the iTunes binary (thanks Evan DiBiase) and on the iPhone (thanks Pumpkin).
Rentals could do a lot for Apple's bottom line. It would re-energize the lagging Apple TV as a platform, it would expand the iPhone's reach as a portable media device, especially for travelers, and it would basically give up on iTunes-distributed buy-to-own movies as an unprofitable but fully explored avenue.
So what do you think? Evil MPAA? Weak Apple? Or a new paradigm on the horizon?