BlackBerry smartphones get access to 240,000 Android apps through Amazon's App Store

Apps including Minecraft and Netflix will be available later this year

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The Independent Tech

BlackBerry has agreed on a licensing deal with Amazon to let its smartphones access more than 240,000 Android apps through the online retailer’s app store.

The new software will arrive on BlackBerry 10 smartphones in an update later this year as BlackBerry 10.3

“We’ve heard your appeals for access to more applications for your BlackBerry 10 device and we are delivering,” said the Canadian phone maker in a blog post.

"You will be able to access popular apps such as Groupon, Netflix, Pinterest, Candy Crush Saga and Minecraft – all available for direct download!"

As the company has indicated, the main appeal will be in giving BlackBerry’s latest handsets (such as the Z10 and Q10) access to entertainment apps and games, letting the company focus on its productivity and business-focused software.

However, even Amazon’s App Store is dwarfed by the offerings from Google and Apple. Both companies’ own app storefronts offer more than a million apps – four times the number available in the Amazon deal.

News of the partnership comes just a day before BlackBerry is set to report its fiscal results for the first quarter of 2014. The phone-maker is expected to report a substantial loss as its efforts to rehabilitate itself continue under the leadership of new CEO John Chen.

Mr Chen has said he wants the company to focus on the enterprise space, with emphasis on the security of BlackBerry smartphones.

Amazon is expected to announce its own entry into the smartphone market later today.  

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