BlackBerry partners with Amazon for Appstore access

Faith Merino · June 18, 2014 · Short URL:

Now BlackBerry users will be able to get Netflix, Candy Crush, Pinterest & Groupon apps

Well, BlackBerry did something interesting this morning. The company announced Wednesday morning that it has partnered with Amazon to make the Amazon Appstore available for BlackBerry devices as of this fall.

That’s pretty interesting for two reasons: 1) it means BlackBerry users will finally be able to get some big name apps previously unavailable to BlackBerry, like Netflix and Pinterest, and 2) Amazon’s Appstore is currently chock full of tablet apps and the company hasn’t yet revealed its smartphone, so that means it’s definitely unveiling a smartphone today and it fully expects to have plenty of smartphone-specific apps by fall.

The integration will occur in the fall with the launch of the BlackBerry 10.3 operating system, which will—with any luck—do better than BlackBerry 10.

BlackBerry users are currently capable of downloading Amazon apps, but the process is more difficult.

The announcement comes the day before BlackBerry is scheduled to announce its quarterly results. Analysts are expecting a loss of 25 cents per share on $976.25 million in revenue.

CEO John Chen says that the deal will allow him to focus on the company turnaround effort, since he doesn’t have the “time, energy and money” to devote to building up BlackBerry’s app selection right now.

“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 Chen, 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.”

Currently, BlackBerry only has some 130,000 apps, which is slightly more than one-tenth the selection of Apple’s App Store or Google Play. The partnership with Amazon will boost that number to 370,000.

Amazon announced earlier this week that the Kindle App Store selection has tripled in the last year to 240,000 apps. Additionally, the number of new developers joining the Appstore per month doubled in the last year, likely due to the fact that a full 65% said revenue from Kindle Fire apps is the same or better than other platforms. 

Apple has 1.2 million apps in its App Store, some 475,000 of which are native to the iPad.

Of course, Amazon’s Appstore will likely see an influx of apps with the debut of its much anticipated smartphone, which is believed to have no less than six cameras. Five front-facing cameras give the smartphone unique head-tracking capabilities in relation to the display, allowing the software to modify the visuals for a 3D effect, sans glasses. Interestingly, this will reportedly apply to apps as well. For example, when using the phone’s maps app, tilting the phone will alter the visuals of the map and give the user different perspectives.

Amazon is expected to unveil the phone this morning. 

BlackBerry shares were up 4.35% in premarket trading Wednesday morning to $8.40.

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