Company wants FCC to legally force iOS and Android developers to create apps for BlackBerry devices
BlackBerry has seized on recent high-profile declarations of support for net neutrality to claim that it is being unfairly discriminated against by many app developers.
Following recent backing from both President Barack Obama and FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, BlackBerry CEO John Chen published a blog post in which he called for net neutrality rules to also cover content and applications.
According to Chen, the current market situation had led to the creation of a “two-tiered wireless broadband ecosystem” which meant that Android and iPhone users have more access to content and applications than users of mobile devices running other operating systems.
To solve this, and end possible discrimination against his company’s BB10 ecosystem, Chen said that all applications and content providers must be prohibited from discriminating based on the customer’s mobile operating system.
Free and open?
“Neutrality must be mandated at the application and content layer if we truly want a free, open and non-discriminatory internet,” Chen (pictured left) wrote in the post, which BlackBerry said had been adopted from a letter he sent to US alwmakers.
“Unlike BlackBerry, which allows iPhone users to download and use our BBM [BlackBerry Messenger] service, Apple does not allow BlackBerry or Android users to download Apple’s iMessage messaging service”.
“Many other applications providers similarly offer service only to iPhone and Android users,” Chen added.
“Therefore, neutrality must be mandated at the application and content layer if we truly want a free, open and non-discriminatory internet.”
Chen also stated that all applications and content providers must be prohibited from discriminating based on the customer’s mobile operating system, resulting in the creation of a more fair and even market for customers and developers alike.
Chen’s motives may be explained by recent analyst figures from IDC which show that the BlackBerry OS accounted for less than 1 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter of 2014. Android had 84.4 percent while iOS had 11.7 percent and Windows Phone had 2.9 percent.
BlackBerry has embarked on a long period of reinvention in recent by focusing on key markets and product sectors, and has launched two new smartphone devices in recent months in an attempt to relaunch itself into the business market and return to profitability as soon as possible.
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