Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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BlackBerry CEO: iMessage is against net neutrality

John Chen, head of what is still nominally a smartphone company, in a blog post adapted from a letter he sent to several members of Congress:

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.

Let’s set aside the assertion that net neutrality means Apple should be forced to support iMessage on BlackBerry and Android phones. That’s a bizarre, nonsensical argument made from a company in a position of weakness: “Why won’t they share their toys?” You think RIM would have been in a hurry to share its technology with Apple back when BlackBerry was riding high?

But, that said, I’ve long wished that there were a way for iMessages to be sent and received by those on other platforms. It’s annoying to compose a group text to five contacts and have them all turn into evil green SMS messages, because one of them isn’t using an iOS device, Especially if, like me, you’re still on a limited texting plan.1

Maybe Apple considers iMessage a competitive advantage, or it simply doesn’t want to spend the time pouring glasses of ice water for people in hell, but I look at it more as an opportunity to stick it to the phone carriers, who continue to make oodles of profit off text messaging.

Between iMessage, Google’s multitude of chat systems2, BlackBerry’s Messenger, and whatever Windows Phone uses, wouldn’t it be great if we had one standardized way to send text, video, photos, and audio messages to anybody, no matter what smartphone or computing platform they’re using?

Yeah. In the words of Wayne Campbell: “And monkeys might fly out of my butt.”

  1. I know, it’s 2015, right? But when the option was either pay $5 for 200 texts a month or $20 for unlimited texting, I opted for the former, since most of the people I talk to are on iMessage. That may change soon, though… 
  2. Google Voice, Gchat, Hangouts–how many different ways to send text messages does Google need, and can anybody explain the difference? 
—Linked by Dan Moren

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