BlackBerry CEO: Discrimination is Why Companies Don’t Make BlackBerry Apps


BlackBerry CEO John Chen sure is an entertaining character. From calling iPhone users ‘wall huggers’ to comparing the Apple-IBM deal to when “two elephants start dancing”, the man knows how to make headlines.

In a company blog post, based on his letter sent to U.S. legislators regarding net neutrality, Chen argues apps should also be included as part of the latter. He argues “discriminatory practices” are the reasons why there aren’t top apps for BlackBerry, due to the existing two-tier mobile OS race between iPhone and Android.

Chen calls out Apple for not opening iMessage to BlackBerry and Android users, despite BBM bringing the service to iOS users. He blasts Netflix for not even caring about BlackBerry users since a streaming app is still not available:

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.


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.

Chen concludes “neutrality must be mandated at the application and content layer if we truly want a free, open and non-discriminatory internet.”

Forcing companies to develop apps for BlackBerry because if they don’t, it’s discriminatory? Does Chen really believe lawmakers should control the free market and how companies should allocate their precious resources?

How about nobody makes BlackBerry apps because their phones are garbage and have failed to gain traction? Money talks and clearly consumers aren’t buying BlackBerrys in droves. Developers follow the money—and that means iOS and Android right now.



  • Biggy604

    The reason why Blackberry doesnt get apps is simple, Blackberry isnt as profittable as it once was years ago.

    Its the same reason why 3rd party developers dont support Nintendo’s Wii U console, for the same reason. They dont feel it will be profittable for them in the long run. It has nothing to do with discrimation, maybe if blackberry sold more phone and actually is competitive to iOS and Android devices they’ll probably get more support. Until they turn around their marketability I dont think they’ll be getting any support app wise from the competition. Especially since the once Blackberry exclusive is not on all devices and BBM used to be one of the selling points for them is no longer since its for all devices.

    Then again Im not a business major so take my opinions with a grain of salt.

  • matt

    its this and the fact that due to blackberrys security build, it becomes harder for developers to create apps for the software integrated in blackberrys

    obviously their CEO won’t admit this and that they aren’t profitable….instead, they will go along with their own reasoning that its discrimination lol

  • FragilityG4

    In other news Alaska is calling discrimination on the sun as they say “it chooses to only shine on their state for half the year.”

  • Donna Lawrence

    Blackberries aren’t garbage Gary Ng….They are just built for a different consumer in mind. It is not discrimination….it is just down to profitability. No one s going to put time and money into making an app that won’t sell because there aren’t enough users to buy it.

  • Jonny K

    Yes, it is discriminating.

    It’s discriminating that more apps aren’t made for Blackberry, since they no longer have a dominant market share they once enjoyed. Basille was chasing hockey teams when he should have been innovating. But he got complacent in the market, and lost.

    Now, Blackberry is still hurting, and if a third-part app developer is going to invest resources into development, the discriminating thing to do is to focus on the smartphone platforms that bring the greatest return.

    Market forces are discriminating, deal with it.

  • lalagaga

    Chen is one puppet that needs a good punch in the mouth to remind him of how retarded he really is. SMH.

  • lalagaga

    someone needs to tell that puppet to shut up every once in a while. just because you make the news, doesnt mean/make it good advertising. people just shake theirs heads and laugh, while continuing to avoid bb’s platform at all costs.

  • iverge

    From the get-go BlackBerry should have paid developers from WhatsApp, Zite, etc… to make them compatible apps so they could offer them in their app store. Small price to pay when you consider most people left BB because they didn’t have the same basic apps as Apple and others!

  • Al

    When all else fails, play the race card (“race”, in this case, being “brand”). It worked in the 90’s, as whites were mandated by government to move to the back of the employment line. Maybe he feels it will work for his precious, underachieving, phones.

  • Aleksandar Matijaca

    BlackBerry users don’t care about apps. All they want is messaging and email…

  • Jon Holden

    Board meetings must be a blast at Blackberry: “So… this year we are a business device because last year we tried to be a consumer device and failed, so we are turning our focus back to the business market, but this week we are going to claim discrimination against app developers for not developing consumer-focused apps for our business focused, serious smartphone, even though our core user-base don’t care about consumer entertainment apps on our business focused phone…?”

  • Richard Yang

    Why doesn’t he say the general public is decriminating against BlackBerry by not buying their phones. A number of the population shall be mandated to buy their phones to keep a healthy ecosystem.

  • haha

  • sukisszoze

    I wonder if Chen came up with that by himself or marketing. When BB was best at messaging and emails ..they didn’t share their apps with other “smart” phones such as Nokia during the pre-iphone days.

  • guest

    What about the blackberry user who are still waiting for an IOS upgrade which is the biggest discrimination. I own the Z30 and I’m still waiting for the 10.3.1 for months. Chen should just up and protect the current market or he’ll be in for a big surprise. I was an apple user and I’m not going back. It’s too closed now and I hate it. I won’t change the Z30 for an iphone or an android because it is thebest phone.Too bad Chen just keeps on talking instead of selling it.

  • Lemontwist

    That’s just sad and pathetic.

  • Rudy Pineda

    Garbage??? What a hate-full comment. I like the fact of being a individual, and originality. And BB has done that. Don’t let your personal opinion Talk for every one.