According to the website Hacking Netflix, the possibility of a Netflix iPhone app has moved beyond the theoretical stage. Apparently the company is testing the waters via an online survey to see if such a beast is viable. That doesn’t qualify as a formal announcement of course, but the wheels do seem to be in motion.
It’s still vaporware, but the posited idea boils down to the streaming of TV shows and movies to the iPhone only over WiFi connections. Clearly as long as true 4G speeds are out of reach and backhaul remains mostly a copper phenomenon, widespread use of such an application would bring any existing cellular network to its knees. But as a WiFi service it could clearly work – it’s just that most of the time I’m near a reliable WiFi network I’m also rather near my television as well, which has a rather larger picture.
Nevertheless, I do think Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX, news, filings) will probably do this, and probably sooner than later. Why? Well, it doesn’t seem to cost them all that much to try and it is probably worth it just for the buzz factor. Having some sort of streaming product for wireless devices seems inevitable, and when 4G arrives it will quickly become a must-have product in their portfolio. So why not get started now and work out the kinks?
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