BlackBerry and Amazon have reached a licensing deal that will bring over 200,000 Android apps from the Amazon Appstore to BlackBerry devices this coming fall, after the new BlackBerry 10.3 OS rolls out.
The move is said to be in response to the appeals of BlackBerry owners to have access to additional applications for their BlackBerry 10 devices.
“We’re excited to be working with Amazon to deliver the apps and content that you’ve been looking for. It’s an exciting new day for BlackBerry 10 device owners,” BlackBerry writes in a blog post.
BlackBerry will soon have access to popular mobile apps such as Pinterest, Netflix, Groupon, Minecraft and Candy Crush Saga, among others. All of which will be accessible for direct download. The company says BlackBerry users still have other choices, however.
“We will continue to offer BlackBerry World, where you can access applications that leverage the powerful features of the BlackBerry 10 operating system,” reads the blog post.
The BlackBerry World has around 130,000 apps, while Amazon has 240,000. The exact number of apps to be incorporated in the deal was not disclosed, and so are the terms of the deal.
Besides the wider apps selection, the company says that music and video services will be available to its users via the BlackBerry World and Amazon Appstore. BlackBerry World will still provide video and music service through third-party apps, but the video and music sections of its store will close by July 21. Content downloaded in the past will continue to be accessible past July through its MyWorld platform.
Further research indicates that the recent partnership is also a move by BlackBerry to reinvent itself under the new BlackBerry CEO John Chen. With the rise of innovative mobile products from Apple and Samsung Electronics, BlackBerry—once the leading mobile innovator—somehow has lost its appeal and top spot in the mobile phones market.
Some analysts, however, are skeptical that the new effort would move mountains for BlackBerry.
"While this will widen the BB10 app ecosystem, the consumer smartphone environment still remains challenging," analyst Maynard Um of Wells Fargo says in a Reuters report.
CEO Chen, in an interview with Fox Business, discloses his plans to encourage its developers to instead focus on developing for the Android app store of Amazon.
“We want to focus on enterprise, highly secure applications. Our partnership through Amazon will provide the consumer side,” Chen says.
BlackBerry also says that it is looking forward to getting feedback from its device owners regarding the mobile apps they look forward to possibly downloading in their mobile devices.