Snippet: BlackBerry CEO John Chen is Whiny, Doesn’t Get Net Neutrality ☇

Shared on January 22, 2015

John Chen:

Unfortunately, not all content and applications providers have embraced openness and neutrality. Unlike BlackBerry, which allows iPhone users to download and use our BBM service, Apple does not allow BlackBerry or Android users to download Apple’s iMessage messaging service. Netflix, which has forcefully advocated for carrier neutrality, has discriminated against BlackBerry customers by refusing to make its streaming movie service available to them. Many other applications providers similarly offer service only to iPhone and Android users. This dynamic has created a two-tiered wireless broadband ecosystem, in which iPhone and Android users are able to access far more content and applications than customers using devices running other operating systems. These are precisely the sort of discriminatory practices that neutrality advocates have criticized at the carrier level.

While it is a chicken-egg situation for BlackBerry’s newest offerings, along with Windows Phone, this is how business works. If you’re developing an app, you’re going to target the most popular devices. Others may eventually happen, but that requires additional time, effort, and support. Let’s not forget that BBM was BlackBerry-only for quite a long time, only opening up support for other platforms in a quick attempt to entice potential customers. Historically, this would be like 1996 Apple complaining that there’s way more software and hardware available for Windows PCs. That’s how competition works—Apple and Google had to gain momentum to get the popular apps and services for their mobile devices—it’s not their fault that BlackBerry lost support from developers and customers.

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