There was a time before iPhones, when BlackBerry was the go-to name when it came to high quality smartphones. Those days are now well and truly over, although BlackBerry is still on the lookout for ways to even the playing field.
In a new blogpost over on the official BlackBerry website, CEO John Chen argues for a net neutrality-style “app neutrality,” which would see Apple legally compelled to make its popular iMessage service for BB10 handsets.
“Unfortunately, not all content and applications providers have embraced openness and neutrality,” Chen writes. “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.”
As a result, other app-makers follow suit by creating apps only for iPhone or Android. “This dynamic has created a two-tiered wireless broadband ecosystem, in which iPhone and Android users can access far more content and applications than customers using devices running other operating systems,” Chen notes. “These are precisely the sort of discriminatory practices that neutrality advocates have criticized at the carrier level.”
It’s a passionately-made point, although the reality is that it will never happen. Despite its popularity, Apple shouldn’t have to make iMessage available for other platforms any more than it should have to help out competitors by sharing the company’s design secrets about current or future products.
The only reason BBM came to iOS was because it was a part of BlackBerry’s business that still had the potential to be profitable amidst declining handset sales. It was — with millions of downloads in the first few hours alone.
But how much of this would “app neutrality” would have happened were BlackBerry still running the show? Exactly our point!