When the BlackBerry 10.3 mobile operating system launches later this year, users will be able to access the Amazon Appstore which the Canadian phone maker hopes will make the process of downloading Android apps such as Netflix, Pinterest and Candy Crush Saga onto BlackBerry handsets much easier.
BlackBerry Ltd. announced is strategic partnership with Amazon today. There are some reports that the e-commerce giant is also poised to announce its own smart phone. Obtaining easy access to Android apps on BlackBerry phones is seen as a key move on the part of BlackBerry as the lack of apps for the handsets have has been a quintessential issue that has limited the mobile device’s popularity with many users. There are more than 240,000 Android applications in the Amazon Appstore.
This is not the first time BlackBerry has attempted to make Android apps available to its customers. It has long allowed app developers to port their Android apps to BlackBerry but the process was not straightforward and some developers have not bothered to do so. Since last year users have also been allowed to sidebar an Android application package (APK) file to install Android apps on BlackBerry handsets
“Making the Amazon Appstore available on BlackBerry 10 devices will help BlackBerry continue to meet two essential needs: greater app availability for our smartphone users and enhanced productivity solutions for enterprises,” said John Chen, BlackBerry CEO in a statement. “We’ve listened to our customers and have taken this important step to deliver on their needs, while executing on our strategy.”
BlackBerry and Amazon will be working with the BlackBerry application developer community to help them migrate their apps to the Amazon Appstore in preparation for the 10.3 launch, where they will benefit from the store’s powerful promotional tools that enable maximum discoverability and profitability. This will include Appstore Developer Select, which provides enhanced merchandising, as well as Amazon Coins incentives, the Developer Promotions Console, which enables real-time pricing adjustments and specials, and the popular Free App of the Day program.
BlackBerry will unveil a new enterprise application partner program for corporate developers, ISVs and systems integrators, designed to expand the number of enterprise applications that leverage BlackBerry 10 to deliver business-class functionality and enhance users’ productivity, communication and collaboration.
BlackBerry said it will continue to run its own app store to allow users to access native BlackBerry apps. The company, however, will shut down the movie and music sections of the store on July 21.