While Amazon dominates headlines for its smart phone release, another major mobilemaker hopes that teaming up with Amazon will save its flailing phone business.
BlackBerry confirmed a deal with Amazon this week to gain access to Amazon’s mobile app store (called “Appstore”) in a bid to expand the Canadian smart phone maker’s relevance in digital content. With Amazon’s prominence as a mobile and commerce company on the rise, the move could be smart for BlackBerry, which has struggled to keep its mobile business afloat after a year of extreme financial losses.
The BlackBerry 10 operating system will come equipped with the Amazon Appstore and be loaded onto devices starting in the fall, the phone maker tells to the Wall Street Journal. This ups the amount of apps available on BlackBerry phones from 130,000 apps, which the BlackBerry app store currently offers, to about 370,000 apps. Amazon’s apps also include Groupon, Netflix, and Pinterest, which previously BlackBerry owners could not download.
Partnering with Amazon does take some of the pressure off BlackBerry to innovate consumer-oriented apps when it has stated it wants to focus on enterprise customers, not to mention turning around its dire financial situation.
“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,” says BlackBerry chief executive offier John 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.”
That being said, BlackBerry will still lag far behind its Android and iOS counterparts. The Google Play and Apple app stores both have more than a million apps.
Not to mention, Amazon unveiled its first ever smart phone on Wednesday, bringing yet another competitor to the crowded smart phone market. Amazon will certainly prove a tough opponent for BlackBerry, which won’t be able to match Amazon’s commerce clout.
The last few years have been rough on BlackBerry, which was once a mobile powerhouse. The Waterloo-based company posted a $5.9 billion loss last year, replaced its CEO, and announced it would be drastically adjusting its business plan to claw its way out of financial ruin.
The announcement comes just before BlackBerry is set to release its first quarter financial report, which many anticipate to still be a loss considering the company is in the early stages of its restructuring.