BlackBerry Ups Consumer/Business Game With Amazon Appstore Deal, New Partner Program

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BlackBerry said Wednesday that the Amazon Appstore, which now has some 240,000 apps, will be available to BlackBerry users with the release of the BlackBerry 10.3 operating system this fall.

At the same time, BlackBerry said it is rolling out a new enterprise application partner program for systems integrators, ISVs and corporate developers aimed at expanding the number of enterprise applications that leverage BlackBerry 10.

“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 Blackberry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen in a prepared statement.

BlackBerry's move came just hours before Amazon launched its own smartphone -- the Fire -- at an event in Seattle.

BlackBerry and Amazon said they will be working with the BlackBerry application developer community to help them migrate their apps to the Amazon Appstore in preparation for the 10.3 launch.

Steven Kantorowitz, president of CelPro Associates, a BlackBerry partner based in New York, said he would prefer that Blackberry stuck to its enterprise roots and avoided the consumer market altogether.

“The consumer market is dead for BlackBerry,” he said. “They’re not going to get back the consumer market, it’s just not going to happen. We love BlackBerry, and we would love for them to concentrate on their core, which is government and enterprise, but they can't be everything to everybody. They found that out already.”

Kantorowitz said he doesn’t see the Amazon Appstore news as having a big impact. He would like to see more focus on an improved operating system that benefits enterprise customers. “They have to penetrate in what their core market is, which is the enterprise market,” he said.


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