The Amazon App Store Deal – Threat Or Opportunity For Native Devs?

blackberry world

As you will probably be aware part of our week of gifts from BlackBerry these last 5 days has been the announcement that they are partnering with Amazon to offer the Amazon App Store pre installed in the next OS update ALONGSIDE BlackBerry World.

The reason for this is very, very simple.

It will sell phones. A lot of phones.

Adding the 240,000 apps in the Amazon store pretty much gives the average consumer access to all the apps they could ever want including the big name games.

Are there people who are prevented from buying a BlackBerry because it doesn’t have Candy Crush Saga, Netflix or Instagram?


Will those same people buy a BlackBerry if it does?


Are there carriers who don’t see the point of BlackBerry 10 outside of Enterprise (the largest one in the UK, EE, will only sell BlackBerry 10 devices on a business contract, for example) because THEY believe it doesn’t have the apps.


Will THEY come on board once the platform is an easier sell.


And once consumers have bought a BlackBerry 10 phone and got their Candy Crush Saga, Netflix or Instagram they’ll buy other stuff too.

Plenty of it from BlackBerry World as the truth is that a GAME, once launched, is pretty much the same as a BAR or an APK.

And that keeps consumers happy.

Look again at the process used during the Indonesian launch. The Z3 was heavily marketed as running Android apps. When people bought their phones at the launch events they were directed immediately to booths to have the 1 Mobile App installed to access Android apps.

They almost had it pre installed. Was BlackBerry World deleted? No. No chance. Why would BlackBerry throw that revenue away?

But the app gap was closed on purchase and no one could say that their BlackBerry didn’t have the apps.

Now, BlackBerry fans know that native is better. I would argue that iGrann is better than Instagram. That Whine is better than Vine. Snap2Chat is better than SnapChat. The polls we’ve run here have always pointed to users loving the BlackBerry native experience first and foremost.

But how do you direct customers to these? They may be better at doing the same thing but they’re not CALLED the same thing and that means people dismiss a purchase of the phone itself on that basis.

Is there a fair chance that they’ll learn and download them afterwards and replace the originals?

Yep. And even if it’s a small amount of a huge number of BlackBerry 10 users that number will be a lot more than a large percentage of a tiny number of users.

Now, look at BlackBerry World today. What is it missing? Big name enterprise apps.

And how would you define those?

Well, I would say banking, business, finance, productivity, utilities, most of the big corporations are missing.

And guess whose apps would benefit MORE THAN ANY OTHER from cascades?

Well, you only need to look at a bank Android port to work that one out.

On the business side, where are the native Sales Force, ACT (sales apps), Sage or Netsuite (accountancy and CRM apps), Citrix? Medical apps, utility apps? These are the ones native devs can’t (and probably won’t, the audience is too small) EVER deal with.

And they’re the ones that BlackBerry needs on the Enterprise side.

So, the truth is that native developers are going to be a whole load better off if BlackBerry sells more phones to consumers and that’s where the big numbers of downloads are.

And with the ability to SHOW users through a pre installed app store that they have all the big names that’s what they are able to do.

Meanwhile it frees up time and money for BlackBerry to fill in their own app gap for Enterprise customers and give them what they want which will make BlackBerry a pretty unique proposition in business from an end to end solution point of view.

There’s been a furore whipped up in certain quarters over this and I’m afraid I don’t agree at all.

We’ve reached out to BlackBerry and they have confirmed that there will be 2 App Stores. BlackBerry World and Amazon preloaded. BlackBerry World is going nowhere. It is staying put as a thriving native ecosystem.


Native devs may feel aggrieved that they think they’ve been shoved to one side but I don’t think they have and anyone encouraging them to to feel like that has got it wrong. Things change, and when they do you look for opportunity.

I know our own EXCELLENT Built for BlackBerry accredited dev Brandon Orr, maker of the PHENOMENAL UTB App (available for FREE by clicking here from BlackBerry World – sorry, thought I’d get that plug in) is concerned about how native devs will get their content across.

And that’s understandable when you’ve put work into learning something (and if you look at what you can do with it, it’s amazing,).

But if it were me I’d be rubbing my hands at all those new users.

There’s going to be millions of them.

The Indonesian experience tells us that’s what will happen.


Bigglybobblyboo is a legend almost nowhere at all. He is a founder member of UTB and spends his spare time taking out his anger at the world with a fishfork and a spatula. He is also a Cribbage Master, having won 1 fight online as the other guy refused to turn up out of fear for his life.