Netflix Shirks RIM, Won’t Support Blackberry Devices

Posted by · February 24, 2012 12:45 pm

Netflix

Research in Motion just can’t seem to catch a break. Even after the Tuesday release of PlayBook 2.0 OS, not everyone is convinced that the embattled company has what it takes to bounce back after a devastating fall from former glory. But then again, who can blame the skeptics when the BlackBerry Playbook is still yet to come up with some of the basic components and capabilities that consumers have come to expect when deciding which tablet to purchase?

According to a Reuters report, the most recent addition to the growing list of disbelievers toward RIM’s future viability is none other than Netflix. Itself recovering from a rocky 2011, Netflix made its stance on the Blackberry tablet abundantly clear when it responded to a tweet from a disgruntled PlayBook owner late Thursday night.

“Where is my playbook app? You’ve had enough time and no more excuses! Thanks!” the tweet demanded.

Without offering any reason whatsoever, Netflix gave the following response: “We don’t have any current plans to support Blackberry devices, including Playbook.”

Since then, other Blackberry users have also vocalized their disappointment. Critics of Netflix’s decision called it “idiotic” and “insane”, expressing their utter disappointment and confusion as to why the company wouldn’t care about making its service available to Blackberry users.

Considering the fact that Netflix has long been available to people who own Apple and Android tablets and smartphones, the announcement by Netflix sends a rather dubious message to RIM and its users. Representing a mere four-and-a-half percent of new smartphone buyers in Q4 2011 and less than two percent of the tablet market as a whole, RIM’s presence is rapidly dwindling. And apparently Netflix sees no evidence to convince it that investing the necessary capital into supporting Blackberry devices will be in its best interest anytime soon.

Further, one cannot help but find the announcement especially searing in light of the less-than-sparkling position finds itself in after its own fall from untouchable status. Nevertheless, such apparent skepticism from the ubiquitous movie streaming and rental service still seems to have delivered a considerable blow.

There is, however, one potential workaround that may be in RIM’s best interest to explore. In an effort to tap into the Android apps—whose selection dwarfs that found in Blackberry’s App World—RIM has attempted to develop the necessary tools to enable Blackberry users to access services without needing direct support from the companies themselves. Whether such an approach will prove viable in smartphone and tablet markets that are already eons ahead of RIM, however, is less than certain.

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