Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) released a new operating system, BB 10 last January, and things seem to be going pretty well. The firm is not trying to just sell phones like its competitors, rather its trying to build an ecosystem. The potential of that ecosystem is a little less today as Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) revealed it had no plans for a Blackberry 10 app.
The news originally appeared on allthingsD.com.
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The video streaming service has had an almost universally good 2013. The company’s earnings report was excellent, its original programming, most notably House of Cards, has been doing incredibly well, and its stock has shot up by 95% since January 1st. The situation at Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) seems good enough to allow the casual dismissal of a small operating system like BB10, but might it hurt the firm in the long run?
Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has to draw the line somewhere. 2013 sees the release of a plethora of new mobile operating systems including Ubuntu Touch, Firefox OS, and Tizen. They’re a little different as they’re open source, but the principle is the same. Netflix isn’t developing an app for Symbian, why should it develop one for BB10?
The streaming service needs to reach as many people as possible so the maximum number of mobile device owners are able to pay them for their content. Right now Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) does not have enough users on BB 10 to justify the development of an application. Whether or not it will grow a user base that justifies expansion matter little to Netflix right now.
The most interesting aspect of this story is that Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has developed an application for Windows Phone 8, an operating system with a user base similar in size to BB10. Netflix is betting on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and against Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB).
The existence of a Windows Phone app has more to do with history than anything else, Netflix has supported that platform since version 7. Development is much easier when working off of a solid base. The same could be said for many developers, however, and could point to a Windows ecosystem that grows much more quickly than BB10.
This news points to difficulties ahead for Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). The firm will have a difficult time developing its ecosystem. Few will see this news as a poor reflection on Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) strategic thinking.