The news that Nokia is to offer Netflix with its top-end Lumia 1020 device on Vodafone is great for movie fanatics and those who’ve yet to get acquainted with the brilliance of the TV and film streaming service.
The deal, also available through Phones4U on Nokia’s more affordable Lumia 925 and Lumia 625 when bought on Vodafone, heralds the latest in a growing move to bundle content with mobile deals.
Vodafone is leading the way, with Spotify or Sky Sports Mobile also available to users on its 4G network.
It’s a great move. Not only does it offer users the chance to experience their device’s screens and sound to the max.
It also saves them money on costly monthly subscriptions, while making what might seem like prohibitively pricey deals for a mobile seem worthwhile.
The thing is, in these days of subscription services, sweeteners like this should be far more prevalent.
Sure EE gives away movies, but users want boundless content wherever they are and surely it’s time that networks recognised that.
You can bet that Rdio, Spotify, Netflix and others would be desperate to get on board and spread their services further and wider.
Perhaps what is needed is some kind of mobile streaming game-changer, something to shake the industry up and ensure that no matter who you sign up with for 24 months, you’re getting something great in return.
That could very well come in the shape of an Amazon smartphone.
With its cloud storage service for music and its ready-made roster of movies thanks to Lovefilm, it could push the industry to work harder on this position.
That would require it to sell well, of course, which is not a given.
In the meantime, maybe Samsung, HTC and LG could take a leaf out of Nokia’s book and engineer some kind of deal with Netflix or Spotify.
If EE, Three and O2 could do the same, consumers would maybe feel that the high prices they’re being asked to pay for 4G are a bit more justified.
Nokia may be about to take a bow from the smartphone scene, but this final act should be seen as a pointer to a time when carriers realise that content is every bit as important to the smartphone user as their HD display, snappy processor and compact-beating camera.