Apple, Netflix… listen up. BlackBerry CEO John Chen thinks it’s high time you paid attention to his phones, and he’s calling on the FCC and President Obama to force you to change your tunes.
Specifically, Chen feels that it’s unfair for companies that develop apps to discriminate against a particular platform. He calls out Netflix, who have so far avoided BlackBerry, and Apple, who doesn’t offer any of their mobile apps — like iMessage — for anything other than iOS.
That’s just not fair, he says: “applications/content providers must be prohibited from discriminating based on the customer’s mobile operating system” if we really want to have a free, impartial Internet for everyone to enjoy. Another way to say “prohibited from discriminating” in this case would be “forced to develop apps for all platforms, even those with market share that barely registers on most monthly charts.”
Chen says that “all wireless broadband customers must have the ability to access any lawful applications and content they choose.” Interestingly, you won’t find many of BlackBerry’s apps in other app stores. BBM, sure, but where are all the other apps, like Blackberry Travel, BBM Meetings, Password Keeper, or BlackBerry Weather? By Chen’s argument, if I really like BlackBerry weather when I see it on my friend’s Z10, by golly, I ought to be able to install it on my Android.
Maybe he’s forgotten that old adage about three fingers pointing back when you point one at someone else. Also, now that there are Tizen phones and Firefox OS phones out there, BlackBerry has a bit more work to do before Chen’s really in any position to cast the first stone.
Oh, and there are some users over in the CrackBerry forums that seem to think the Netflix app they can install via Amazon’s Appstore works just fine on their BB10 devices. It might not be the same thing as having a native app in BlackBerry World, but at least it shows that Netflix isn’t actively discriminating against BlackBerry users by refusing to serve them content.