Netflix, which mails DVDs and Blu-Ray discs to subscribers and streams movies and TV shows directly to Xbox 360 and other set-top box owners, commented on the likelihood of their working with Apple, and specifically providing an app for the iPhone:

“[A partnership with Apple] is something that’s likely to come over time,” Hastings said. “But nothing in the short term. [With] movie watching, we are not focused on mobile yet, but on the TV, on Blu-ray and on the video game consoles. We will get to mobile eventually, including the iPhone.”

This either goes against, or pushes back previous rumors that "Watch Instantly" was on its way to the App Store.

Of course, there are significant hurdles to overcome. First, media licensing is still an outdated mess, with different rights for different content making it difficult for any company to provide similar services across geographical boundaries. Indeed, Netflix is US-only still. While Apple's own iTunes Store movie and TV platform is in several countries around the world, including the US, Canada, UK, Australia, content varies incredibly from one to the other, and many iTunes stores are still app-only, or app and music only.

In terms of competition, Apple has recently let Spotify and Rhapsody onto the App Store, so Netflix might find a similar home despite iTunes' own offerings. There'd still be the question of the streaming itself, however, as despite recent FCC net neutrality proposals, AT&T and other carriers might not have the capacity to handle that much bandwidth on such a popular device, consigning Netflix to Wi-Fi, much like SlingPlayer.

[Reuters via Digital Daily via Gizmodo]