Apple is about to take a big bite out of the digital download biz.

According to the New York Times, 20th Century Fox is teaming up with Apple to release its films for an iTunes movie rental service. iTunes has been shopping the idea around to several studios recently, and, according who weren't authorized to publicly comment, Fox has confirmed signing on with iTunes.

It's believed that the deal will be officially announced during the MacWorld Expo on January 14. Apple's stance on a movie rental service was sketchy, but then a Carnegie-Mellon graduate student discovered a a number of embedded phrases in the iTunes softward that implied a video rental service was in the near future.

Apple will join services like MovieLink and Amazon.com that offer digital movie rentals. While it is the new contender in this digital rental ring, there have been more than 30 million iPods sold to date, many of which have video capability that could utilize this new service.