BlackBerry boss wants to force developers onto their platform

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has recently made a very strange blog post where, in the name of net neutrality, suggests that developing apps for BlackBerry should be mandatory.

John Chen

The BlackBerry blog saw an update yesterday where their CEO John Chen weighed on the topic of net neutrality, and somehow managed to turn the issue about him while managing to completely miss the point. In Chen’s opinion, companies like Apple and Netflix (that he specifically mentioned) are flagrant offenders of the net neutrality principles because Netflix and iMessage are not available for BlackBerry.

Don’t believe us? Read his very own words:

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.

Therefore, neutrality must be mandated at the application and content layer if we truly want a free, open and non-discriminatory internet. All wireless broadband customers must have the ability to access any lawful applications and content they choose, and applications/content providers must be prohibited from discriminating based on the customer’s mobile operating system.

This proposal, first of all, has nothing to do with net neutrality. Chen is saying that app developers should be compelled to develop apps for every mobile platform. Nevermind that creating an app for one operating system is time-consuming and expensive, which is why many apps debut on only iOS or Android.

What this confusing rhetoric boils down to is the claim that it’s unfair to lock BlackBerry users out of apps because of their platform of choice, and that the law should force companies to create versions of their apps for Android, BlackBerry, iOS … and whichever other OS exists out there – imagine forcing Volkswagen or Ford to have to sell their cars on every retailer, and that is how crazy this sounds.

Right now these declarations are making the rounds around the world where media outlets are proceeding to explain how crazy and impossible this is, and even making fun of the company who now looks incredibly desperate.

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