Call to develop more apps for Blackberry says firm's boss

App makers should be bound to make software for Blackberry devices, the chairman of the technology firm told US Congress.

In his open letter to members of the US Congress, Blackberry CEO John Chen called on competitors for more openness and neutrality when creating apps or software for other operating systems.

Chen said that Blackberry users should be offered the option to download specific messaging services such as Apple’s iMessage, especially when the company’s own messenger (BBM) was made available to download on all devices in 2013.

Netflix also prevented Blackberry’s users from streaming movies, “discriminating” against them after advocating for “carrier neutrality”, according to Chen.   

“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,” he said.

In his letter, Chen vouched for “net neutrality” within the apps and content fields, so companies would be legally required to make versions of their programs available for all handsets.

“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,” Chen said.

Net neutrality is a principle according to which all data on the Internet should be transferred equally regardless of the carrier or mode of communication.

The letter drew criticism from the technology world.

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