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March 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

In addition to unveiling its new, higher-resolution iPad on Wednesday, Apple also disclosed that it is upgrading its AppleTV settop box so that it can produce true 1080p HDTV. More significantly perhaps, it said that users of the device will be able to sign up for Netflix’s streaming service and pay their monthly subscription fees via their iTunes account (iPad and iPhone users won’t be able to do so.) Peter Kafka, a senior editor at the Wall Street Journal‘s AllThingsD website, noted that the deal marks the first time that Netflix has handed off its customer billing to a third party and that it sets up the possibility for Netflix to close a similar deal with a cable company. Apple also launched its iCloud movie service on Wednesday, making movies customers have purchased via its iTunes Store available via streaming. The iCloud service covers content from Disney, Sony, Paramount, Warner and Lionsgate. (20th Century Fox and Universal have thus far opted out.)