BlackBerry has partnered with Amazon in a deal that will bring Amazon’s Android Appstore to BlackBerry devices. Why? As BlackBerry CEO John Chen tells the WSJ, he just doesn’t have the time, energy, and money to build a proper app ecosystem, which seems fair. The Amazon Appstore will be available alongside the BlackBerry 10.3 platform this fall.
The announcement of the deal comes a day before BlackBerry announces its quarterly financial reports and the day Amazon is due to announce its first smartphone.
BlackBerry has long been criticized for its lackluster app ecosystem. Despite the noble efforts of BlackBerry developer evangelists, the company has so far failed to create a robust and competitive app offering. Shortly after the launch of its BlackBerry 10 platform, the company allowed Android apps to be ported to the system. Yet even this desperate move hasn’t resulted in a bonanza of top-tier apps.
Since the launch of the Amazon Appstore, the company has created an impressive suite of apps loaded with missing apps that BlackBerry desperately needs. According to a report by the company earlier this week, the Amazon Appstore now has more than 240,000 apps, a number that has nearly tripled year over year. Moreover, these applications are available in nearly 200 countries. Independent reports also indicate that developers who publish their apps exclusively on the Amazon Appstore generate more revenue than those who do the same on iOS.
However, the Amazon Appstore is still far from Google Play or Apple’s App Store. App updates 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 business tools and developing its hardware, something the BlackBerry CEO appeared to tell the WSJ. “Given that I want to turn the business around financially and focus on the business space, it’s perfect for us,” Chen said.