Apple Offered Me (and many others) a Free Movie Rental. But, Why?

An offer (redeem code) for a free Apple iTunes movie rental appeared in my email yesterday. The offer said:

Enjoy movie rentals on your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, the all-new Apple TV, or on your computer.

I found it interesting that Apple listed their mobile devices before their Apple TV or Macs. The offer is good for nearly a full year until November 30, 2011. The rest of the offer is standard for iTunes movie rentals: You have 30 days from the moment you rent a movie to start watching, and 24 hours to finish it.

The question is why is Apple offering this free movie rental? Here’s a couple of personal theories:

– To entice mobile device (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) owners to at least try watching a rental movie on a small display
– To entice people who only use the Apple TV to watch Netflix to try iTunes rentals
– To create a large movie rental number to use during near future (January iPad announcement perhaps?) Steve Jobs keynote
– To offset whatever Google announces later today at their special event