Here are your daily Apple rumors and news items for Thursday:
iCloud Streaming Movies Soon: Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) streaming video service exists one day and disappears the next. It is the bigfoot of the current entertainment business — a lumbering, mythical beast briefly cited stalking Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) on the outskirts of the industry. A Thursday report at CNET said the service is all too real, though, and it should open for business in the next few months. Apple is said to be finalizing deals with major movie studios to provide a service through iCloud that is halfway between the current iTunes sales model and Netflix. Users will buy a movie that is then saved on Apple’s servers and can be streamed from any supported device, whether an iPhone or television. Movie studios already have warmed to this type of service — the new UltraViolet service that allows DVD buyers to access digital versions of purchased movies via cloud streaming opened this week.
Smartphones, Tablets Outnumber U.S. Citizens: This is how the robot apocalypse starts. According to CTIA, a nonprofit representing the wireless communications industry, there are now 327.6 million handheld devices with wireless subscriptions in the United States — a 9% increase over 2010. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are just 312.4 million people in the country. Thus, we officially have too many toys. The tablet market grew by 17% to 15.2 million as of this past quarter. Considering Apple controls nearly 70% of the overall tablet market, according to IDC, the CTIA’s report should please Apple shareholders more than most.
Grand Theft Auto Comes to iPhone, iPad: Take-Two (NASDAQ:TTWO) and Rockstar Games’ infamous and profitable video game Grand Theft Auto III is celebrating its 10th anniversary by coming to Apple’s portable devices, as well as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android handhelds. The violent crime movie satire made the series a household name in 2001 and helped the series become the fifth-most profitable franchise in the industry, with 114 million games shipped during the past 14 years. It has to date outsold even Activision Blizzard‘s (NASDAQ:ATVI) billion-dollar Call of Duty franchise.