Like Spotify, Netflix has no plans for BlackBerry 10

News Richard Goodwin 11:55, 21 May 2013

Netflix has no plans to launch a BlackBerry 10 application

Netflix will not be coming to Blackberry 10 anytime soon despite the platform making suitably impressive gains in the mobile space. 

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed the news during an interview, implying his company has no plans in place to develop an application for the BlackBerry 10 platform anytime soon.  

Speaking to CTV, Hastings said: ‘it's a unique operating system you have to target, and unfortunately there's just not enough volume for entertainment (apps). It's a great device for getting work done but people don't interact with it as an entertainment device the same way they do with say an iPhone or Android phone.’

BlackBerry has reportedly shifted around one million Z10s in the UK so far while Microsoft has sold just 200,000 Surface RT slates. And yet despite this Netflix has produced an official application for Microsoft’s Windows RT platform, which is sort of bizarre given Hastings’ statement about volumes.

Bizarre, but not unexplainable: the Surface RT does have a big display – it’s a tablet device after all. And this, as Hastings explains below, is probably why Netflix took a punt on it.

‘One of the biggest growth categories we have is tablet-based viewing and phone-based viewing. On a year-over-year basis it's up quite a lot, as more and more tablets are sold and people experience the convenience and the satisfaction of it,’ Hastings added. 

Would a BlackBerry 10 tablet make the platform more open to applications like Netflix? Perhaps. But even with a tablet device in place – and there’s one rumoured to be in the pipeline – that still leaves other applications like Spotify unaccounted for.

Know Your Mobile contacted Spotify in March of this year and then again in May about the possibility of an official Spotify application for BlackBerry 10 and was told the following on both occasions:

‘We're always looking to bring Spotify to new and interesting platforms and continue to monitor user feedback, but we've no imminent plans to launch a BlackBerry 10 app.’

BlackBerry is very much back on the map these days. The Q10 is selling well here in the UK and the BB10 SDK is a veritable developer’s paradise with tons of APIs and plenty of support.

However, the Q10 (and the Q5) raises one issue in support of Hasting's comments. While we can imagine watching films on Netflix on the BlackBerry Z10's display or on the rumoured 'dummy' tablet, the tiny screen on Qwerty equipped BlackBerry handsets isn't ideally suited.

And, when you think about it, that's a significant chunk of BlackBerry's product portfolio being sub-par for film consumption, currently there are two Qwerty devices to one full touchscreen phone. If rumours prove true, BlackBerry could introduce both full touch and Qwerty models across high, middle and low-end spheres, but even in this scenario that's half of the product portfolio with tiny displays.

We’re sure these applications will appear soon enough anyway, but given the pace with which BlackBerry 10 is developing it’s criminal that they’re not already in place. Even more so when you consider the ease with which Android apps can be ported to BlackBerry 10.

Come on Spotify, Instagram, and Netflix. Get your arses in gear!

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