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Amazon's Android Appstore Coming To BlackBerry 76

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the qnx-used-to-be-cool dept.
New submitter Hammeh (2481572) writes "BlackBerry announced they have reached a licensing agreement with Amazon to provide the Amazon Android Appstore to be shipped with BlackBerry OS 10.3, which is due to be released this fall. The Amazon Appstore will exist alongside the current BlackBerry World, bringing more than 200,000 Android apps directly to BB 10.3 devices. As part of the announcement, BlackBerry also outlined how they will be closing the Music and Video sections of BlackBerry World, as they will be provided by the Amazon Appstore. The question: is it enough to save BlackBerry in the consumer market, or is it too little, too late?
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Amazon's Android Appstore Coming To BlackBerry

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  • Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kardos (1348077) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @10:16AM (#47262409)

    Now we get all the benefits of Blackberry's excellent hardware AND all the apps of Android. They should have had this a year ago!

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      'excellent hardware'... I'm sorry but that stopped being the case around the BlackBerry 9000 era when it went from made in Canada to made in mexico/china. Build quality is on par with any other Android manufacturer.

      As for the physical keyboard? That's really a matter of taste. Some of the alternate Android keyboards (and soon IOS too I guess) are faster once you get used to it, and yea it does take some time/practice.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      We get the inferior hardware from Blackberry with some Android emulation mode to run the software.

      Seems a lot better to buy a pure Android solution.

      It is painful watching someone still use a Blackberry.

    • The real news here is that it will be bundled in their 10.3 OS. The ability to use it has been around ever since the last OS update (10.2.1). With that version, users can load APK files through their browser. Getting and using the Amazon Appstore is already as easy as searching for "amazon app store download" and installing it straight from Amazon. Then you use it just like you would on Android, when you choose and app it downloads and the OS takes over installing the APK file. Reference: http://crackb [crackberry.com]

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Now we get all the benefits of Blackberry's excellent hardware AND all the apps of Android. They should have had this a year ago!

      All the apps Amazon approves, you mean.

      There are over 1M apps in the Google Play store, and 200,000 in the Amazon App Store. So you get the subset of apps where the developer got off their ass and decided to run through all the hoops in order to get their app approved (a la Apple) and listed on Amazon's store.

      The benefit is you get at the big well known apps since those guys gener

  • I know plenty of people who enjoy the Blackberry ecosystem, especially if they keep releasing a hard keyboard. If they release enterprise tie-in that is compatible with Exchange and with iOS and Android I think they can regain a decent share of the MDM and phone market. I doubt they will ever be as dominate but with proper management they could regain a large portion of their share.
  • by enharmonix (988983) <enharmonix+slashdot@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @10:24AM (#47262497)

    The question: is it enough to save BlackBerry in the consumer market, or is it too little, too late?

    How long has it been since BlackBerry has had more than a negligible share of the consumer market? These days, they seem to be almost exclusively enterprise. Seriously, the last time I can think of that anybody I know who bought their own BlackBerry was like 7 years ago. Who is using BlackBerry for personal use?

    • The question: is it enough to save BlackBerry in the consumer market, or is it too little, too late?

      How long has it been since BlackBerry has had more than a negligible share of the consumer market? These days, they seem to be almost exclusively enterprise. Seriously, the last time I can think of that anybody I know who bought their own BlackBerry was like 7 years ago. Who is using BlackBerry for personal use?

      There was a period, before Android phones not worth owning got dirt cheap; but after MS pretty much screwed up what was left of Danger/Sidekick, where blackberries were the go-to featurephone for text-crazed teens. None of the fancy enterprise stuff turned on, just BIS and BBM; but with Sidekicks mostly out of the way, they were the only game in that area, briefly. Didn't last, of course, since the carriers could get anybody to puke up a more or less functional android thing practically at cost.

    • The question: is it enough to save BlackBerry in the consumer market, or is it too little, too late?

      How long has it been since BlackBerry has had more than a negligible share of the consumer market? These days, they seem to be almost exclusively enterprise. Seriously, the last time I can think of that anybody I know who bought their own BlackBerry was like 7 years ago. Who is using BlackBerry for personal use?

      I bought a BlackBerry (Q10) for personal use -- I can enter text with a physical keyboard far faste

    • Not everyone needs to be hip and trendy. They look for the features and buy a phone at the best price that gives them those features.

      Will BB get its #1 spot again... Probably not, but if they get caught up with the rest of the world they may be able to hang on.

      20 years ago. We would say the same thing about Apple.
      People were buying PC's in droves, schools even stopped buying Apple PC. Their macs of the time while had some advanced features they were lacking in others...

      It took Apple a few years to gets its

    • How long has it been since BlackBerry has had more than a negligible share of the consumer market?

      [anecdote]

      I recently returned from trips to Mexico City and Bogota. 'Berries were in the hands of everyone you saw, all BBMing like mad. Occasionally you saw an older Android device, almost zero iPhones.

      [/anecdote]

    • Blackberry's market share is predicted to fall to 0.3% by 2018. And they will ship 50% less handsets this year than the past.

      Here is the link [www.cbc.ca].

    • I bought a Q10 because I wanted a keyboard. I'd never used a BB before.

      I love the thing. Trying to use an Android or iPhone now drives me batty. Losing the Hub is the worst part.

      Android apps on the Q10 are problematic, though. Even apps that work on the Z10 often fail on the Q10. Apparently the apps can't handle 'Is the phone in landscape or portrait?' 'Yes'. (The Q10 has a perfectly square screen.)

  • I was playing with the android version of Instagram on a BlackBerry Q10 a while back, and the application didn't quite look right on the small screen of the Q10 (iGrann looks better since it was built for BlackBerry). If BlackBerry are going to focus more on hardware keyboard devices with the majority of apps coming from android I think it is something they need to work on and consider carefully. Otherwise, this is a step in the right direction for the once big mobile company!
  • It seems like anybody can make an Android compatible phone these days so I'll assume that Blackberry has the ability to do that. Now, will they be able to sell their hardware? They have a well-established channel. However, the Android phone market is pretty competitive so the question is will they be able to sell enough and make enough profit to sustain themselves as the large company they've become?

    • by TWX (665546)
      It's still running Blackberry's OS, up to version 10, derived from QNX. The Q10 has the same processor in it that's in my Galaxy SII, which I assume makes it easier to run programs written for another OS if they don't have to emulate the very processor itself, just all of the hooks in the form of a wrapper. My guess is that many Android apps that require a lot of ties to Android-specific APIs won't work that well though, so we'll see how useful this truly ends up being.
  • When your market share in the consumer market is approximately 0% "saving" is not good, what you need to do is grow market share. So the question is whether an appstore which is as good as your competitors will grow market share for blackberry in the consumer market. And I think the answer it takes more than just being as good as your competitors in one area to gain market share. Perhaps if they just put out some decent android phones that had the old (patented) blackberry keyboard then they could regai
    • When your market share in the consumer market is approximately 0% "saving" is not good, what you need to do is grow market share. So the question is whether an appstore which is as good as your competitors will grow market share for blackberry in the consumer market. And I think the answer it takes more than just being as good as your competitors in one area to gain market share. Perhaps if they just put out some decent android phones that had the old (patented) blackberry keyboard then they could regain some market share from the texters that hate on screen keyboards. That is the one feature they can offer consumers that will be better than the competition. "Saving" market share only applies to the corporate and government markets where they still have market share to lose.

      I'm not sure how much an app store "saves" market share in government, but I do know cost is a factor. I am in government and just received a Z10 after having a 9900 for a few years. Our agency was looking to go iPhone, but AT&T literally gave us the devices FOR FREE and then a credit of about $32 per old device for recycling, so the net cost of going iPhone would have been $40,000 (400 devices at about $100 per) and the net cost of Blackberry was -$12,800 (technically -$52,800 if you count the "saved"

      • by bigpat (158134)

        A company doesn't want to be in the business of having to pay customers to take their products... loss leaders are fine if you are getting investments down the line, but the current status quo also means that government/businesses are not going to be willing to make major investments in new Blackberry technology on the business side either. It is only a matter of time before Apple and Google or their proxies catch up on meeting the particular needs of those customers.

        Also, in some businesses and governmen

      • It's probably worth noting that the Z10 is a replaced model. Previous-gen flagship phones often get insane promos when the newer one's been out for a while, and the Z30 came out last November.

        And actually, if AT&T was going to charge $100 per iPhone, they may have actually made more money by giving you Z10s - retail price on the Z10 is $300 now (direct from BB), which is a lot less than an iPhone.

    • Frankly, I think the day of the keyboard on a phone is gone. Yes, there are a few stalwarts left that prefer it to touch screen, but they are a shrinking group. Android manufacturers aren't interested in manufacturing phones with keyboards because they'd end up like Q10, hundreds of thousands of units taking up space in warehouses.

      The touchscreen won. I doubt in ten years there will be any keyboard phones to buy.

      • by bigpat (158134)
        Based on (non-scientific) surveys of people I meet I find that there is still a sizable demand and preference for keyboards on phones. It just happens that Blackberry owns many of the patents for keyboards on phones and is fairly restrictive with licensing those patents. And it is simply the case that the phones blackberry has made with keyboards are not competitive on other features. I'd say that 15% of the consumer market would go for a smartphone with a keyboard versus one without if all other feature
      • I read an interview with a high-up at Sprint that said the reason Android keyboard phones have died is that people no longer go to the phone store and go 'I want an Android phone' and look at features.

        They walk in and go 'I want a Galaxy S5' or 'I want an HTC One' or other heavily-advertised halo phone, and never even consider other options. Not even things like non-name-brand phones which might have almost the same specs for a lot less money.

  • You've now attached your turd to a brand of cellphone that for all intents and purposes, people quit buying six years ago.

    the Amazon moneytrain choo choo dollarstore forces developers to permanently lower their AppStore prices if ever they do promotions on other stores, not to mention Amazon could choose to lower the price of an application while deciding to reduce the developer's share without having to ask permission.

    • by tapi0 (2805569)

      Amazon could choose to lower the price of an application while deciding to reduce the developer's share without having to ask permission

      Well, insofar as "within terms of accepted contract" could be construed as "without permission".

      Also, unless it's changed recently (and I haven't been keeping track) Amazon can, and will, adjust prices but the developer is guaranteed a minimum price. So Amazon could give away the app in a bundle and the developer still gets the agreed minimum pricing

  • Whats a blackberry? Is it like one of those old rotary dial phone thingies I've heard tell of?

  • WAAAAAAYYYY to late.
  • BlackBerry might be a day late and a dollar short on them realizing that have a diminished market share, but they are trying!

    Is it too hard to believe that they could not reinvent themselves as an Android device with a robust enterprise capability set? That market still exists and that's what made them viable originally.

    In retrospect they should have been thinking of this awhile back as more and more organizations simply want a better smartphone. The iPhone is the most appealing due the sandbox nature of
  • wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @11:14AM (#47263001)

    So I can have all the benefits of a closed source phone and OS, the fragmentation of Androids open source market AND blackberries compliance with the whims of 3rd world dictators? Fantastic! Maybe next they can figure out how to make the phone weigh as much as a desktop PC.

  • This was the only logical choice.

    I loved my blackberry while it was relevant. I have missed the keyboard badly.

    I think Blackberry could provide some healthy competition if they Iron out android compatibility. I still have a lot of friends that use Blackberry Messenger.

  • you realize how much time you spend positioning your finger over that little square icon on Android. I think the Palm Pre was what first got me using gestures. Been using the Blackberry Z10 for a year now and love it. FWIW my day job lately is mostly coding on Android. I don't understand why so many people want a monoculture of phones. Definitely not wise.

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