updated 05:10 pm EDT, Wed March 17, 2010
Blockbuster to bring movies to Android, iPhones
Blockbuster's OnDemand debuting for the T-Mobile HTC HD2 smartphone will expand to other platforms, the company said. The service, which lets customers download and watch new release movies in addition to checking store stock, will also be made for certain Android-powered handsets from Motorola, though a timeline has not been revealed. Unlike competitors such as Netflix, Blockbuster's approach will see users permanently download tracks as they're more efficient than live streams.
Whether a movie is rented or purchased, it will be DRM-protected.
Blockbuster already offers a free app (App Store) for iPhones and iPod touch devices, though movies cannot be saved onto the local drives as Apple doesn't allow apps to do this at present. With the nearing release of the iPad, this may soon change, as Blockbuster is "exploring different options" in this regard, according to Scott Levine, Blockbuster's VP of Digital.
A new release of the Blockbuster iPhone app is coming soon that will add the ability to check movie store inventory, as well as status in their Blockbuster queue. Remote control options for queue management will also be improved.
Blockbuster has been aggressively fighting competition from other subscription-based movie services, partnering with various hardware makers on bringing its OnDemand service to the masses. Last summer, it partnered with Samsung to integrate the service into the Korean firm's Blu-ray players and TVs. [via ReadWriteWeb]