There has never been a shortage or rumors that Netflix streaming is coming to the iPhone. It just makes sense that eventually, the hot device and the hot service will meet. And that may be happening sooner rather than later if a survey being sent out by Netflix is any indication.
As the site Hacking Netflix reports tonight, Netflix is asking certain users about their interest in streaming movies and television shows to the iPhone. Notably, this would apparently only work over WiFi, which is hardly surprising given AT&T’s reluctance to let stream-heavy fare on its network.
Here’s the full text of what’s being asked in the survey:
“Imagine that Netflix offers its subscribers the ability to instantly watch movies & TV episodes on their iPhone. The selection availability to instantly watch includes some new releases, lots of classics and TV episodes. There are no advertisements or trailers, and movies start in as little as 30 seconds. You can fast-forward, rewind, and pause or watch again. The movies & TV episodes you instantly watch are included in your Netflix membership for no additional fee.
Whenever you want to instantly watch content on your iPhone, your iPhone must be connected to a Wi-Fi network (such as one you might have at home or at work, or in public places like coffee shops, book stores, hotels, airports, etc.)
If this functionality were available, how likely would you or someone in your household be to instantly watch movies & TV episodes on your iPhone via a Wi-Fi network?”
So that’s obviously very straightforward. Clearly, Netflix is thinking about providing an app that would do this on the iPhone, iPod touch, and the upcoming iPad as well, but recent remarks by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings suggests that none of this is a priority for the company.
Hastings has also noted in the past that eventually the service will likely be on the iPhone. But if they’re already gauging interest among users, hopefully it will be sooner than he’s let on in the past. As Hacking Netflix notes, earlier surveys from Netflix gauging interest in the Wii and PS3 consoles with Netflix were early indicators of the service on both of those devices.
Of course, you have to wonder if Apple would approve such an app that would compete directly with iTunes.