Last spring, I wrote about Netflix demo’ing its streaming service on a Windows Phone 7 operating system. Now comes word that Netflix is releasing free applications for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch that will let subscribers access streaming content on these portable devices.
The free apps can access the streaming service across either a WiFi or 3G data connection. You can even stop in the middle of a movie or TV episode, and then when you come back, it will pick up right where you left off. This works even if you restart on another device, such as your home computer. You can download the free apps from the Apple iTunes store.
This announcement is particularly interesting in the light of recent news reports that Apple is negotiating to rent TV episodes for $.99 each. The all-you-can-eat Netflix service is available to any subscriber with an $8.99 monthly subscription or higher, so the break-even point is just 10 shows a month, no matter whether you watch on your phone, media player, computer, notebook, video game console, or Internet-connected TV or Blu-ray player. Netflix is expanding its footprint across the entertainment landscape, and Apple’s pay-as-you-go model may be a difficult sell.