“We don’t have any current plans to support Blackberry devices, including Playbook,” says a recent tweet from Netflix’s support account. It’s an issue that’s been a thorn in the sides of BlackBerry users for quite some time, but as CrackBerry reports, “this was one of the first times the information had come from a Netflix source” in a public arena such as Twitter.
If Netflix doesn’t see value in creating a version (or versions) of its app for the BlackBerry platform, there’s at least a slight glimmer of hope in that the most recent version of the PlayBook tablet’s operating system supports the emulation of Android apps. However, Netflix would still need to repackage its Android app to function correctly on the PlayBook. That’s less work than building a BlackBerry app from the ground up, but it’s still work.
It’s curious that Netflix has shied away from developing dedicated BlackBerry apps, given that there are millions of BlackBerry users – many of may also subscribe to Netflix – and how many other platforms Netflix has a presence on. The company has its service on gaming consoles from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, over a dozen brands of Blu-ray players, 10 brands of connected TVs, over a dozen brands of streaming set-top boxes, and apps for Apple, Android and Windows Phone devices (see the complete list here).
It could be that Netflix is holding out for the release of BlackBerry 10 devices, which are due later this year. Apps developed for the PlayBook are supposed to be compatible with BlackBerry 10 smartphones, so Netflix could conceivably develop a PlayBook app now but given the PlayBook’s weak sales, Netflix may be taking a wait-and-see approach to ensure BlackBerry’s new software platform has enough users to make app development worthwhile.