Apple said Thursday that it would begin selling new-release movies through its iTunes online store on the same day they are released on...

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SAN FRANCISCO — Apple said Thursday that it would begin selling new-release movies through its iTunes online store on the same day they are released on DVD in stores.

The movie studios’ agreement with Apple puts the company on the same playing field as traditional retailers and demonstrates that Hollywood is growing more comfortable with digital downloads.

Apple sells new releases for $14.99 and most older titles for $9.99. iTunes customers can watch the movies on their computers and video iPods, and on television only if they plug their computers into the TV or own the Apple TV set-top box.

Chief Executive Steve Jobs announced in January that Apple had reached partnerships with all the major studios to sell or rent movie downloads. But the studios wouldn’t provide movies for download until 30 days after DVDs went on sale through such retailers as Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy.

Analysts cautioned then that the 30-day delay would hurt iTunes. The company said in January that it had sold 7 million movies. It has not provided updated sales figures.

“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.”

Movies for rent still won’t be available until 30 days after the DVD release.

Apple said participating studios include 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.