BlackBerry CEO wants U.S. government to force Apple to make iMessage for BlackBerry under guise of so-called ‘net neutrality’

If you can’t beat ‘em, tell the government to force ‘em to let you beat ‘em,” Mike Beasley reports for 9to5Mac. “That’s the approach BlackBerry CEO John Chen wants to take to mobile software development.”

“Today Chen wrote in a blog post on the BlackBerry website that he believes the issue of net neutrality requires the government to not only promote and protect neutrality not only among wireless and broadband carriers, but also among app and content providers,” Beasley reports. “To put Chen’s points in simpler terms, he’s angry that services like Netflix and iMessage are not available for BlackBerry devices and says that the government should require the companies responsible for those services (and others like them) to stop ‘discriminating’ against BlackBerry.”

Read more in the full article here.

An excerpt from Chen’s blog post:

John Chen and his Passport to nowhere
John Chen and his Passport to nowhere
Defining Net Neutrality. There is widespread disagreement in defining the term “net neutrality.” Most discussion has focused on telecommunications carriers and how they operate and manage their physical networks. Neutrality advocates want to prohibit carriers from creating paid, prioritized “fast lanes,” and from slowing down or “throttling” customers using excessive bandwidth. Neutrality advocates argue that such practices will destroy the free and open internet, while the carriers argue such prohibitions will destroy their incentives to invest in infrastructure to carry more traffic.

BlackBerry believes policymakers should focus on more than just the carriers, who play only one role in the overall broadband internet ecosystem. The carriers are like the railways of the last century, building the tracks to carry traffic to all points throughout the country. But the railway cars travelling on those tracks are, in today’s internet world, controlled not by the carriers but by content and applications providers. Therefore, if we are truly to have an open internet, policymakers should demand openness not just at the traffic/transport layer, but also at the content/applications layer of the ecosystem. Banning carriers from discriminating but allowing content and applications providers to continue doing so will solve nothing.

Therefore, any net neutrality legislation must take a holistic view of the entire playing field, addressing both carrier neutrality and content/application neutrality… 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.

MacDailyNews Take: A few points:

1. Chen is batshit insane. Or he fell and hit hit head. Seek medical/mental health attention immediately, John.

2. Nobody makes apps for BlackBerry because fscking BlackBerry is DEAD.

2a. Following Chen’s “logic,” the gov’t should force Apple to make apps for Tizen and every other half-assed failed OS on the market. Chen’s ever-rising level desperation seems to have caused irreparable cognitive damage.

3. We told you years ago that so-called “net neutrality” would become a bastardized fiasco.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


      1. And now that the BBM has been on other platforms for a bit over a year, it looks like there are far more users on iOS (and Android) than there ever were on their own BlackBerry devices…

    1. I thought it now did though the point is that it was never interested when it was top dog. I guess if companies were willing to take on the financial costs of so doing it might have some legs but then that could be exploited, but where does it end if any barely measurable user base can insist on having such privileges. I think the present system at least in theory where only monopolists can be faced up on such matters is the right one and in that regard with Android and WinPhone not to mention BBM Apple is anything but. Fact is by concentrating on its own customers it can provide a better experience… though with the reliability of late one doesn’t want to think of the possible failings if Apple tried to cater for more customers with all sorts of varied equipment.

      1. I don’t see Blackberry having a case unless Apple is restricting 3rd party messaging apps from entry to the App store or somehow preventing App developers from accessing/implementing relevant communications libraries to make them competitive on the iOS platform. Kinda rings of the situation with 3rd party browsers for iOS before iOS8 being required to use Apple’s slower implementation of their Nitro Webkit libraries instead of the faster one used for Safari or one of their own creation.

  1. I work at a software company and our product runs on a lot of different hardware and operating system platforms. If someone wants us to port our software to their platform, they have to pay us to do it because doing a port and maintaining it costs a lot of money and we might not make any money on the licensing fees. So Blackberry, I’m sure that Apple would be happy to port to your platform if you offered them a big enough dollar figure for them to do so.

  2. I just puked in my mouth reading this drivel. Oh! Btw … How’s that Zoom firmware update coming along John? This is sweet justice. Those Crackberry toting Bozos were such a pompous & arrogant bunch. GOOD RIDDANCE!

  3. Chen complains that Blackberry has offered BBM for IOS, but that Apple hasn’t offered iMessage for BB and is now asking the government to intervene so there is no longer an imbalance.

    Apple could correct that imbalance at a moment’s notice by simply withdrawing BBM for IOS from the App store. Then anybody still using BB will be able to continue using BBM to talk to anybody else still using BB, and the the people using Apple devices will continue to use iMessage to talk to people on IOS and OSX.

    Chen should be very careful what he wishes for.

  4. Yet another example of why NN is bad.

    MDN take #3, spot on.
    NN sounds good… until you actually read the fine print. It creates more problems, forces companies to do crap like this.

    1. NN is not bad, and it was the default way that the internet operated for about the first 20 years or so, and only current technology has allowed the internet pipelines to discriminate.

      Personally I think the internet should be managed like the public roadways and run by the government without discrimination. Having it run by profit companies has proven to be a failure.

  5. While Chen is batshit insane, as MDN said, government is also batshit insane. I’m sure to many legislators this sounds like a great idea. Watch out, some government lackeys will probably be promoting this idea soon.

    1. Oh, I entirely agree. There are loads of batshit insane legislators in the US government. I can’t wait to see what moron legislator is the first to fall for this Blackberry bullshit. Hopefully, I’m being TOO cynical today.

  6. Anybody remember when the BB was *the* phone to have and RIM didn’t offer a functional syncing for Macs? Looks like the shoe is on the other foot now.
    Look up “Schadenfreude”, Mr. Chen!

  7. Net neutrality has nothing to do with iMessage. Only with how data is charged and delivered. If you pay for a certain speed you should get that speed all the time period. That is what Net neutrality is about. Not specialized apps for each device. Apple has to give NOTHING to you Chen because you don’t deserve it.

    1. Net neutrality is not about speed or bandwidth promised by ISPs.
      It is the simple premise that bits are bits. ISPs should pass the bits along to their customers. They should not be creating toll roads or stop their customers from accessing sites or services because another company failed to pay them.
      You pay your ISP for Internet access, they should provide it to you.

  8. Oh, and make the government make all all the other app developers to make their IOS apps for BBM as well. And make stores give BBM equal space for BBM and IOS. Heck, I’ll just take the IOS space since Apple can’t make their phones fast enough.
    I don’t want to pay for Apple’s servers, I just want them to make their app for me.

    Oh, and now that it’s the law, make the tech writers write as many stories about BBM as they do about Apple. But only the positive ones.

  9. “Netflix . . . has discriminated against BlackBerry customers by refusing to make its streaming movie service available to them.

    iPhone and Android users are able to access far more content and applications than customers using devices running other operating systems.”
    —CEO John Chen

    Customer – Oh, okay, thanks John Chen. Didn’t know that.
    Customer puts down the Blackberry she was looking at and moves on to the iPhones.

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