More reports on: Telecom

BlackBerry to license 240,000 Android apps from Amazon

19 June 2014

BlackBerry says it would license 240,000 Android applications from Amazon in a move that might set off a downgrading of its internal developer relations efforts for its struggling BB10 software, The Guardian reported.

Announcing the deal on Wednesday, the company said in a blogpost, "We've heard your appeals for access to more applications for your BlackBerry 10 device and we are delivering."

The move would grant users access to popular apps including Groupon, Netflix, Pinterest, Candy Crush Saga and Minecraft, all available through a direct download, according to the company.

However, the company had seen several key departures from its app developer relations division, even as analysts expected additional losses in its forthcoming first-quarter financial results and slow handset sales in its first-quarter results set for announcement Thursday.

BlackBerry chief executive John Chen told Fox Business he would encourage BlackBerry consumer app developers to focus instead on writing for Amazon's Android app store.

He said BlackBerry had about 130,000 apps on BlackBerry world, while Amazon had about 240,000 and they were getting into the phone world. He added, BlackBerry wanted to focus on enterprise, highly secure applications. He said the company's partnership through Amazon would provide the consumer applications.

Meanwhile, PC World reported that the catalogue of over 200,000 Android apps would appear as a separate store this fall, as part of the Blackberry 10.3 operating system update.

BlackBerry said it would keep its own app store up and running, and let users have to access native Blackberry 10 apps.

BlackBerry would however, be shutting down the music and video sections of its store on 21 July and users would still be able to access anything they had bought through MyWorld.

BlackBerry was hoping that the void would be filled by third-party music and video services like Spotify and Hulu.

This was not the first time the company had tried to make Android apps available on its phones.

Developers had always been allowed to port their Android apps to BlackBerry, but this required a bit of work, which many developers did not bother.

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