Later today Amazon is expected to formally announce their first foray into the smartphone hardware game, but that’s not the only phone-related move the company is making. Starting with BlackBerry OS 10.3, those sticking to Blackberry devices will see the number of apps increase dramatically, thanks to support for the Amazon AppStore.
Blackberry has been able to utilize Android apps for a while now (first requiring conversion to BAR and then eventually allowing sideloaded APKs), but the methods for doing so have never been particularly straightforward. Hoping to keep its remaining (and shrinking) fanbase from jumping ship, Blackberry’s addition of the Amazon AppStore will likely be seen as a welcome change for BB users.
While Amazon’s AppStore pales in comparison to Google Play, the store has well over 200,000 apps at this point, which is nothing to sneeze at. Of course adding a third-party app store to the platform seems a bit like a tiny bandaid being applied to a massive wound, and in some ways it could provide more damage than aid.
now even less incentive for developers to focus on Blackberry’s app store and the creation of true native BB apps
Why’s that? Simply put, there’s now even less incentive for developers to focus on Blackberry’s app store and the creation of true native BB apps. Interestingly enough Blackberry is even offering help to developers that want to move to Amazon, telling them “developing for the Amazon Appstore will enable you to quickly and easily reach a larger user base.”
Blackberry will continue to offer its own store front, likely with its main target being corporate level apps and services, but it will be scaling back its consumer efforts. This includes ridding its storefront of music, TV and movies starting July 21st.
This latest change might be helpful for those that enjoy Blackberry hardware/software and want better app support, but it also seems a bit like Blackberry’s way of “giving up” the fight completely. Oh how the mighty have fallen.