BlackBerry Turns To Amazon To Fix BlackBerry’s App Problem

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BlackBerry has partnered with Amazon in a deal that will bring Amazon’s Android Appstore to BlackBerry devices. Why? As BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen tells the WSJ, he simply doesn’t have time, energy and money to build a proper app ecosystem, which sounds about right. The Amazon Appstore will be available alongside the BlackBerry 10.3 platform this fall.

The announcement of this deal comes a day before BlackBerry announces its quarterly financial reports and on the day that Amazon is to announce its first smartphone.

BlackBerry has long been criticized for its lackluster app ecosystem. Despite noble efforts from BlackBerry developer evangelists, the company has so far failed to build a robust and competitive app offering. Shortly after launching its BlackBerry 10 platform, the company allowed Android apps to be ported to the system. Yet even that desperate move did not result in a windfall of top-tier applications.

Since launching the Amazon Appstore, the company has built an impressive suite of apps that is loaded with the missing apps BlackBerry so desperately needs. According to a news report released by the company earlier this week, the Amazon Appstore now has over 240,000 applications – a number that has nearly tripled year-over-year. In addition, those apps are available in nearly 200 countries. Independent reports also state that developers who publish their apps exclusively on the Amazon Appstore generate more revenue than those who do the same on iOS.

Yet the Amazon Appstore is still a far cry from Google Play or Apple’s App Store. Updates to apps tend to hit the Amazon version after their Play or App Store counterparts.

By outsourcing its app marketplace to Amazon, BlackBerry can focus on building its enterprise tools and hardware development, something that the BlackBerry CEO seemed to state to the WSJ. “Given I want to financially turn around the company and focus on the enterprise space, this is perfect for us,” Chen said.