More information confirming speculation that Apple will launch a film rental service through iTunes has emerged, this time from entertainment trade magazine, Variety.

Recent reports have claimed Fox has already signed-up to make films available for rental through the purported service, speculating that other studios may also climb on board.

Variety names the first draft as also including films from Disney, and suggests Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM may also enter Apple's film rental fold.

Citing insider sources, the report claims the service (which on previous form seems set to launch initially only in the US) will be announced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs on 14 January.

The move pits Apple against services such as Movielink, CinemaNow, Xbox Live and others. But for iPod, Mac, iPhone and Apple TV owners, the move should make a selection of desired films available to view where, when and in what manner they desire.

Rentals are expected to cost between $2 and $5 for a 24-hour period.

Sony, Universal and Warner Bros. are unlikely to participate for various competitive reasons.

A report in the Financial Times claimed some studios will also begin releasing DVDs using Apple's FairPlay digital rights management software, making them easier to copy legitimately for use on computers of iPods.