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Apple and Netflix: Perfect Partners

Investors aren't giving Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) much love lately. Apparently, they don't see what Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) sees: a perfect partner that delivers a lot of value to iPad owners.

New data from comScore shows that nearly one in four smartphone owners also uses a tablet. On-the-go entertainment is part of the allure; the study also found that tablet owners were three times as likely as smartphone owners to watch videos on their devices, with 9.5% watching almost daily.

That's a win for Netflix. Unlike its peers, the company refuses to compete with Apple.

Source: Netflix.Don't take my word for it. Switch on your Apple TV. You wont find's (Nasdaq: AMZN) Instant Video service there because the e-tailer offers more than streaming; it also offers the option to pay a one-time fee for renting new releases. Apple offers the same service in iTunes.

Source: Netflix.

Don't take my word for it. Switch on your Apple TV. You wont find's (Nasdaq: AMZN) Instant Video service there because the e-tailer offers more than streaming; it also offers the option to pay a one-time fee for renting new releases. Apple offers the same service in iTunes.

Nor will you find Hulu on Apple TV. The streaming service co-owned by Comcast unit NBCUniversal, Fox Entertainment, and Walt Disney's ABC Television offers new shows the morning after they air. Apple offers similar timing to iTunes users who "subscribe" to shows; new episodes are automatically delivered via iCloud.

Interestingly, Hulu and Hulu Plus are available on the iPad and all Macs. Only Apple TV loses out, which suggests that, over time, Hulu could make its way onto Apple's set-top boxes.

Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) YouTube has a channel on Apple TV, which is really cool if you want to watch clips or Web shows like The Nerdist Channel's All-Star Celebrity Bowling. But for renting movies or TV shows? Not so much.

Netflix and iTunes will fill the gap in the meantime. Smart move. Many times I've streamed old episodes of a TV program I'm interested in only to be shut out when reaching the newest season. Subscribing to the latest episodes through iTunes completes my experience. So long as this remains true -- and I see no reason it wouldn't -- Apple has no reason to look outside Netflix for a streaming partner.

Stream on
Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner has been a fan of Netflix as a disruptor for nearly a decade, but there's a new Rule-Breaking multibagger that's getting him excited these days. Learn more in a free report that you can check out right now. Also, if you want to keep up to date with our senior tech analyst's best Apple analysis, sign up for our new Apple research service today!

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple, Google, and Walt Disney at the time of publication. He also owned shares of and has a long-term call options position in Netflix. Check out Tim's Web home, portfolio holdings, and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix, Apple, Google, Walt Disney, and Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walt Disney, Google, Netflix, Apple, and and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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