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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

BlackBerry CEO John Chen yesterday published a blog post adaptation of a letter in which he presses U.S. government officials to support not only net neutrality but also "application/content neutrality". In Chen's view, all apps and content should be available on all platforms, and he points specifically to Apple's iMessage and Netflix's streaming services as examples of discrimination against BlackBerry.

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.
Chen believes BlackBerry is a leader for content and application neutrality and pushes U.S. government officials to require these same neutral practices from the Canadian company's competitors. "Neutrality must be mandated at the application and content layer if we truly want a free, open and non-discriminatory internet," writes Chen.

Chen's comments have unsurprisingly been met with ridicule by developers who don't wish to be forced to create apps for platforms where they do not expect worthwhile returns, and many observers have suggested BlackBerry should focus its efforts on creating a compelling ecosystem that would attract users and apps organically.

Apple has historically been quiet on broader issues of net neutrality. The Cupertino company was noticeably absent from a list of more than 100 technology companies which signed a letter protesting a proposed change in FCC rules that would allow for Internet fast lanes for certain types of content. Speculation has suggested Apple's absence may be related to its interest in securing priority access with Internet providers for media content delivered by the company.

Article Link: BlackBerry CEO Says U.S. Government Should Force Apple to Expand iMessage to Other Platforms


macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2007
When blackberry was king of the hill back in the day. BBM was nowhere to be found on other platforms. They only changed there minds when they were at the bottom of the totem pole.
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macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2011
Obviously never heard of the business term USP...

Unique Selling Point


macrumors newbie
Feb 14, 2014
The article was amusing.

It is amazing how things look different from top and then from bottom.


macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
if gov't were to mandate apps across all platforms then devs would have to build apps for every new gadget platform that comes along, regardless if that added value to to the company and its customers.

how absurd. you cant force value proposition.


macrumors member
Mar 28, 2014
Hey Chen, why don't you follow Elon Musk and release all of your patents in the sake of net neutrality... hello..?


macrumors 6502a
Jan 11, 2009
New Brunswick, Canada
BBM did not exist on other platforms when people actually used it, why should apple have to conform their system just because BB has gone downhill and wants to get some kind of edge?

As for other content, such as Netflix, I don't see why developers and companies should be forced into changing. They obviously want more customers so there must be a specific reasons for not having the app. They shouldn't have to ignore this reason because Blackberry is whining.

All this sounds like to me is BB trying to use legislation in order to get what it wants since, as a company, it's drowning and can't save itself.


macrumors 68040
Jan 5, 2012
I once bought a BlackBerry because of BBM. Had this rule been in force then, there's a good chance I would have bought something else.

Why don't people like competition. What's next? All software must be open source? So the innovator's code can be copied line for line and they go out of business?

Maybe people would develop for BlackBerry (and Windows Phone) if they actually sold decent phones. Or a lot of phones. Or phones to customers who were willing to spend money on apps.

Edit: I cannot believe how ridiculous this idea is. If I build an OS from the ground up to see if I could, with a total of 3 users, would Microsoft, Apple, Google, Netflix, etc HAVE to develop ALL their apps for it?


macrumors 601
May 1, 2013
What is so special about iMessage that you want it that much Blackberry, wouldn't you want users to use BBM?


Dec 6, 2012
Is it April already? Is this an April Fools Joke?

Ford should make parts that work with GM cars. Toyota should make parts for BMW. Let's make cars neutral too.

LOL. Nice way to start the day -- with a good laugh


macrumors 68040
Nov 2, 2007
Los Angeles
While I don't agree that iMessage should be available to "EVERYONE" I would like if I could access it on my stupid work Windows PC much like Google Hangouts lets me text and message people. Would certainly make life easier when the wife is texting me since I somehow always manage to miss the texts on my phone.


Jul 10, 2008
Says the company that refused to do the same until they lost the majority of their business and did so only with the small hope it would make people on their current platform stick around because they could now talk with friends. :rolleyes:


macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2003
The CEO is simply pandering to shareholders and the board of directors. He doesn't have any other viable moves, so he's just appearing to provide a viable argument in favor of his company that would, in theory, allow his company to see more smart phones.

Obviously, the argument is not valid, and I doubt it will get taken seriously by anybody powerful in Washington. Fact is, this would force companies to develop software for platforms that aren't viable which would be a waste of resources.


macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
Why is a Canadian company lobbying the US Government?

Shouldn't they lobby their own government first, it's not like the US Government is unique in not forcing this.


Jul 10, 2008
What is so special about iMessage that you want it that much Blackberry, wouldn't you want users to use BBM?

People are leaving Blackberry and getting iPhones because it means they can use iMessage with all of their friends. Blackberry made BBM for iOS and Android with the hopes that if they made it so their current customers friends could use BBM, their current customers wouldn't leave for Android or iOS. It didn't work and people still left because it's not 2004 anymore.


macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2014
Well that's one of dumbest things I've ever heard. Looks like he's getting desperate.


macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
I cannot believe how ridiculous this idea is. If I build an OS from the ground up to see if I could, with a total of 3 users, would Microsoft, Apple, Google, Netflix, etc HAVE to develop ALL their apps for it?

With this logic, all applications should be forced to be ported over to TempleOS, which I'm pretty sure only has a single user (the guy who made it).

I can't wait until fart apps rain down on the BlackBerry app store because they're all forced over from the iOS app store.


macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2007
Louisiana, United States
I've never understood this sort of argument... the cost of expanding iMessage to multiple platforms would be in the millions. It's not like Apple would simply flip a switch somewhere. How could the government possibly compel a company to create a new service or product out of thin air?

If I opened a donut shop, can the government require that I also sell hot dogs? John Chen's argument is preposterous from the get-go and he knows it. I'm not sure what he's getting at here.


macrumors 604
Sep 23, 2003
For simple things like messaging protocols, I can at least see the argument for that. Personally I don't use iMessage since it isn't universally available.

But apps? They want laws mandating support on every device regardless of market share? Where would you draw the line with that, would people insist that all apps be available on pc, mac, and linux?

It costs Netflix money to support each new platform. I'm sure they would be happy to create a Blackberry version if they sent Netflix a big, fat check.

Or they could, you know, just somehow get Blackberry more popular again.
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