It looks like the video-on-demand battle between Netflix and BlockBuster is spilling over to the handset space. We already know that Netflix is building a mobile app for Windows Phone 7 Series that will allow you to manage your queue from your phone — and to stream movies from the Netflix “watch instantly” library. Now it looks like Blockbuster plans to launch a Windows Mobile app next week, with an Android app soon to follow.
Unlike the Blockbuster app for the iPhone, which only lets you manage your queue, the new versions will let you purchase and download videos directly to your smartphone. ReadWriteWeb reports that Blockbuster went with a video download model instead of using streaming media like Netflix in order to provide more reliable service over 3G mobile broadband networks.
The first phone to get the new BlockBuster app will be the HTC HD2, which is due out on March 24th. Apparently Blockbuster is also working on an Android application, although it too may not be available to all Android users at launch.
While the company would like to offer video downloads for iPhone users, Apple prevents applications from downloading movies directly to the iPhone’s internal storage. In an interview with ReadWriteWeb, a BlockBuster exec says the company is exploring their options for the iPhone.