We'd heard it was to be the case via a rumour, but it is now so for American consumers - Apple has announced that new movie releases from both major film studios and independent studios are now available for purchase on the iTunes Store on the same day as their DVD release.

New releases (and catalogue titles) will be available from 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Image Entertainment and First Look Studios.

In a move that will send a slight shiver through the DVD rental and sell-thru market, movies purchased from iTunes can be viewed on an iPod with video, iPhone, Mac or PC or on a widescreen TV with Apple TV, with new releases priced at $14.99 and most catalogue titles at $9.99.

"We're thrilled to bring iTunes Store customers new films for purchase day-and-date with the DVD release", said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "We think movie fans will love being able to buy their favorites from major and independent studios."