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Next Up for Netflix: Android Phones and Tablets?

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Now that Netflix (s NFLX) has an app on the iPad and the iPhone (s AAPL), it could soon make a push into the Android (s GOOG) ecosystem, based on job postings that have cropped up on the company’s website recently. The creation of an Android app could expand Netflix’s addressable audience on consumer electronic devices even further, especially with a group of new Android-based tablets set to launch.

Netflix has posted job listings for Android developers in the past few months, including Android developers and an Android “video playback expert.” Now the company is hiring a Manager for Instant Streaming to mobile devices, which lists experience with Android and/or iOS as a “big plus.”

Of course, it’s no big surprise that Netflix wants to be on every consumer electronics device, and is working to get there. The company’s future is in streaming, and it expects to stream to more than 100 connected devices by the end of the year. But despite being embedded on various TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, TiVo (s TIVO) DVRs, Roku broadband set-top boxes and Apple iOS devices, Netflix has yet to build a significant foothold in Android devices.

But it’s becoming tough to ignore Android’s potential due to its massive growth over the past year, with sales of Android devices outpacing Apple iPhone sales. And with a growing number of Android tablets set to be released, it’s even more important for Netflix to tap that user base.

One potential stumbling block for Netflix in approaching the Android marketplace, however, is the extreme fragmentation among carriers and handset makers, which can make it a difficult platform to develop for. Not all Android devices are standardized on the same OS — different CE makers are at various levels of rolling out the most recent version of Android, and different carriers have different rules about capabilities that are available on their networks. All of this means that developers looking to build for Android aren’t just building for one version of the OS, but several.

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12 Responses to “Next Up for Netflix: Android Phones and Tablets?”

  1. I have an iPhone 4 and an Evo 4G. It is a myth that Apple doesn’t have fragmentation.

    The older iPhone’s and iTouch’s can’t play all the new apps built for retina display. The iPad is stuck using an older OS than the iPhone and can’t multitask.

    If you look around online you will see most 3GS iPhone owners having performance issues and when those customers went to Apple or AT&T…they were told to upgrade their phone.

    • @Lamar

      iOS 4.2 will supposedly bring performance improvements to the iPhone 3GS.

      That being said, Android might be fragmented but the SDK is supposed to be pretty easy to support previous versions of the OS. As Steve Jobs ended up not doing his homework and eating his words about TweetDeck. They say it’s not as hard to support multiple versions of Android as one may think. ;)

  2. Android user

    “…based on job postings that have cropped up on the company’s website recently. ”

    Really? April is recent in the technology world like Vietnam is recent in the modern history world. This is just a rehash of various other articles over the last 6 months and those of us who actually stay current would LOVE a current article. Research news by speaking with experts, not just via Google…

  3. CrappleFanboy

    Fragmentation is a BS storyline… Netflix doesn’t work with gen1 iphones and will never go back. Develop for the current generation of an os (android) and shut your piehole. Fanboys of apple are the only ones crying about fragmentation because they claim apple is supreme. The only reason apple doesn’t have a fragmentation problem is because all the fanboys write an annual $600 check to apple to be “cool”. I don’t hear any complaints about the fragmentation of the windows platform…there are just some newer apps that will not run on an old pc running xp. If you want the newest best experience you upgrade and buy the most up to date equipment. Fanboys included.