Your next smartphone purchase may take you to the nearest Blockbuster


First Posted: 12/06/12 11:58 PM ET Updated: 12/09/12 09:13 AM ET

Originally posted on Engadget Dec. 5th, 2012 by Alexis Santos, revised for AOL by Rob Zanicchi & Joe Pollicino

Much like a Hollywood underdog story, Blockbuster is looking to make a comeback. If the sight of remaining Blockbuster stores shocks you, brace yourself for another surprise: it could soon be selling smartphones alongside your 80s comedies.

According to a pair of Bloomberg sources, the veteran video rental chain will soon make an entrance into the smartphone retail arena. This isn't the first time the once-dominant chain has tried to branch out -- most recently, it threw in the towel after failing to compete directly with Netfix in video streaming and DVD-by-mail services. While the smartphone angle may seem out of place, it actually makes sense given its current owner.

As it so happens, Dish Networks -- which has hopes to use some of its newly approved wireless sprectrum to provide a LTE framework -- acquired Blockbuster just last year. Bloomberg notes that the retail shift could signal Dish Network's entry into offering mobile phone service, just like AT&T and Verizon. In fact, Dish has had Blockbuster quietly selling handsets online for some time now, so this would extend the effort to its roughly 850 remaining store locations. According to the outlet, Dish CEO Charlie Ergen has planned on charging Blockbuster with smartphone sales since picking up the company.

Just imagine, a Blockbuster where you can buy a phone, sign up for a service plan and get the digital version of your favorite movies all in one visit -- now that's a Hollywood ending.

Via: Gizmodo, The Verge
Source: Bloomberg