BlackBerry makes Amazon app store part of rescue plan

The company will concentrate its own resources on enterprise software

The BlackBerry 10 OS will soon have Amazon's Android app store built-in, in a bid to increase the number of apps available on the smartphone and allow BlackBerry to focus on enterprise software as it tries to stay afloat.

The Amazon Appstore will be integrated in version 10.3 of BlackBerry's OS, which is scheduled to arrive this fall, according to the company. That provides access to apps such as Groupon, Netflix, Pinterest, Candy Crush Saga and Minecraft, Blackberry said on Wednesday.

When BlackBerry 10 was launched back in the beginning of 2013, one of the main goals was to attract consumer users, not just the business users that had been the company's strong suit. However, smartphones like the Z10 never caught on with the mass market. One of the issues that put a damper on sales was a lack of apps, which BlackBerry is now hoping to address with the Amazon deal.

Earlier this week Amazon said the Appstore now has over 240,000 apps and is available in nearly 200 countries.

BlackBerry 10 users have always been able to run apps developed for Google's OS, but the integration of Amazon's app store should make it even easier.

BlackBerry will use its resources on a developer program that focuses on getting more enterprise apps for its devices; that will be launched in the coming weeks. CEO John Chen's plan to save the company relies on messaging and mobile management tools for its own OSes as well as Android and iOS.

The announcement comes the day before BlackBerry is due to present the company's first quarter results and hold its annual shareholder meeting. Even if the latest numbers are bleak, Chen now has something tell unhappy shareholders.

The deal is also a win for Amazon, which has been working hard to make its app store a viable alternative to Google's Play store.

Even though there aren't many BlackBerry 10 phones out there, anything that can add up to larger volumes makes the store more attractive to developers. The main purpose of the store is to help sell Amazon's Kindle Fire and the smartphone the company is expected to launch Wednesday.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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