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Comments

Nathan

I don't have an iPhone, but I wonder what streaming Netflix will do to the new data plans. I can see somebody using over 2 GB of data for streaming. However, I personally wouldn't want to watch full-length movies on an iPhone, but that's just me. I can see watching a TV episode or two, but not a full-length movie.

I think that I would use it with wi-fi, which would make the data limits a moot point. However, I mainly use wi-fi at home, where I would stream on my TV instead.

BooBee

It's now a useless feature with the data plan changes.

doug

@Eric, not sure useless. I suspect if you currently have a unlimited data plan, it will be extended for the length of your contract, 2-years from when you last renewed/bought a device. Also works on wi-fi of course so the bathroom use case at home comes to mind.

Crow550

Think if it comes to Android it will be better? Different network.

FearNo1

Aren't at+t "unlimited" data plans limited to 5gb of data per month?

Jason Hansen

I'm around WiFi 90% of the time... I guess one of the lucky ones. This app will look pretty slick on the iPhone screen... can't wait.

S

I'm interested to see how this will play out with the recent announcement from AT&T. Looking forward to checking out the differences between connecting with Wi-Fi and 3G.

Seth

What is the point with the data caps?

AT&T has officially outlived its usefulness to Steve Jobs. And now that he has he will most unceremoniously screw them over with a deal with Verizon.

Billy

If I use AT&T's 3G, I'm going to run up against my bandwidth limit in no time.

If I have Wi-Fi, I'm probably already in my house with two HDTV's hooked up to Netflix streaming...

Anon


So want this on Android on one of the new phones with HDMI out.

CJ

The point people are missing here is... do you really want to watch a movie on such a tiny screen? And do you want to pay extra for that privilege?

When the iPhone first came out years ago, I ripped a few DVDs, transcoded them to the iPhone video format, and very quickly determined that watching full length movies on the tiny screen was not for me. Not a feature I enjoyed.

If you do decided to go this iPhone IW route, then you better have the unlimited AT&T 3G plan - which is a $15/month premium over 250Mb plan that 90% of us can easily live with. So it's going to cost you $15/month to see movies on a tiny screen!

PatB

Most of the bandwidth objections to NetFlix streaming on an iPhone mentioned above are not reasonable.

Watching a movie from NetFlix streaming will be done typically on a TV or HT system. A significant minority will watch on a PC or Mac desktop. Fewer yet will watch on a laptop and very damn few indeed on a slate machine like an iPad. Almost no one will ever watch a complete movie on a cell phone or PDA. So why worry about things like bandwidth limitations?

Having this ability to see a full length feature film on an iPhone is a very good thing but that doesn't mean it is a very important thing. I imagine a lot of people will want to see movie previews on their iPhone. Amazon shows the first two minutes of its movies for free. That sort of thing makes sense for an iPhone. Some people will want to see the last few minutes of a TV episode when they have to go somewhere in a car - I just hope they're not driving!

I have TVs in the bedroom, den and kitchen but I have to wash my dog in the laundry room today. An iPhone would come in handy if it had a suction cup on the back so I could stick it up on the wall. I could watch a movie while I painted my fence too. I'm sure that people will use their iPhones in even more bizarre places. I expect that there will be hundreds odd iPhone usage videos posted on YouTube. They will be cute and amusing but they won't be great consumers of bandwidth.

NetFlix movie streaming to a Home Theater is the entree. NetFlix movie streaming to an iPhone is a condiment.

Hank

Seth, considering that you predicted iPad sales wouldn't even reach 2 million in their first year I think we should take your predictions on Apple and its business model with a little skepticism.

lar

android! android! android!

-faithful netflix user :)

Hank

I'm glad Netflix and Apple are making these decisions and not you guys. How you make the amazing leap from "it doesn't fit my needs" to "no one will buy/use this" is mind boggling.

Regarding the misconceptions over 3G and bandwidth caps. You'd be absolutely correct if that were the target market, but it's not.

The vast majority of users are going to use this on a Wi-Fi network: at home, in Starbucks, in the airport, on a plane, at a hotel, visiting friends or family, ... The Netflix app may not even support 3G when it comes out. The hundreds of thousands of people who have downloaded the app for the iPad are evidence of this market segment.

Why watch it at home when you already have Netflix on a roku or network BD-player? You may not, if you spend 90% of your time on your couch in front of your TV as many here seem to do. The options for normal people, however, are endless.

Most people do not have a TV (or Netflix player) in every room and would occasionally take advantage of the option of watching something elsewhere. Maybe it's the kitchen, work-out room, garage (or even washing your dog). There are also many times where you might want/need to watch your own personal TV: spouse sleeping beside you in bed, putting a baby to sleep, in the family room while the kids are watching Shrek 3 for the tenth time (or let the kid use the iPhone while you watch something else), ...

Yes, few people are going to watch Avatar (or even Citizen Kane) on the tiny screen, even though the quality on the new iPhone will be better than most people have experienced for the vast majority of their TV watching days. People still watch movies on airplanes and anyone who has tried it will have to agree that watching a movie on your personal iPhone is typically a far better option than that.

Some will watch movies (especially the older, non-blockbuster titles that are currently the majority of Netflix IW movies), but people will use this more often for episodes of TV shows or documentaries. There is plenty of content on IW that doesn't require HD and surround sound.

Some will even use this as a travel replacement for their Roku, which was a decent option for getting TV when away from home. Will the iPhone be powerful enough and support external video for Netflix IW? Perhaps, but the iPad definitely can.

In summary, this is not for everyone. But consider the huge market of 15 million Netflix members whose service will be enhanced (and differentiated from competitors), some of which will lean towards buying an iPhone instead of another smart phone. Also consider that soon half of Americans will have some sort of a smartphone and Netflix wants to be on the leading edge of that technology and service.

Also consider that consumers with iPhones are among the most profitable for Netflix. They don't actually want users who are sitting in front of their TVs all day or streaming 60GB on their 3G network (or even wi-fi) per month.

This is a win for Apple, a win for Netflix and a win for consumers who have the cash to enjoy more options.

bogart

@Hank, right on. iPhone user, and Netflix on iPhone would be VERY useful to me in many many different situations.

I have been waiting for this since I first got my iPhone.

Groovy times

So will this be an app in the app store that will work with the Ipod Touch also?

Groovy times

So will this be an app in the app store that will work with the Ipod Touch also?

Apple iBook Battery

I hope the driver who hit her was sentenced to a significant prison term, not merely fined. I also would suggest that he/she should be prohibited from owning or using a cell phone for the next twenty years, or perhaps the rest of his/her life.

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