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Amazon's Android Appstore Coming To BlackBerry

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the qnx-used-to-be-cool dept.

Blackberry 76

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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Finally (3, Insightful)

Kardos (1348077) | about 2 months ago | (#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:Finally (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262493)

'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.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262611)

Touch screen will never be as good as a real keyboard. Ive wanted blackberry hardware + android OS for years. Goodbye virtual keyboad and good riddance.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47263123)

The Q10, available since last August, is a BlackBerry with a full physical qwerty keyboard and the ability to run Android apps. I suspect, however, that what you want is an Android phone with a physical keyboard, not a BB phone with an Android subsystem.

Re:Finally (1)

alexo (9335) | about 2 months ago | (#47263149)

I suspect, however, that what you want is an Android phone with a physical keyboard, not a BB phone with an Android subsystem.

Is there a practical difference?

Re:Finally (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 months ago | (#47263471)

Yes, the Android subsystem in BB sucks.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47265523)

Ahhh, so because you declare it, it must be so. Highly informative, NOT!

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47265619)

It's better than Apple's Android subsystem - take that Apple Fan Boizzzzzz

Re:Finally (1)

Sean (422) | about 2 months ago | (#47268269)

It sure does. No access to incoming SMS. I also can't get GCM working properly. Their docs are bad and their developer forums are a wasteland.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47263023)

"Build quality is on par with any other Android manufacturer."

So excellent? HTC and Sony makes one hell of a nice good looking phone.

Got it.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47264109)

Never used a Blackberry 10 I see. How about you take a slice of the shut the fuck up cake, shave it in your hole and go away for a while.

Re:Finally (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262725)

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.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47265651)

What decade are you posting from?

The BlackBerry Z10/Z30 are actually nice phones, with better build quality than any Apple iProduct produced, ever.
The screen is sharp, the apps are responsive, the touch screen interface is very accurate.

You can *gasp* actually replace the battery without having an Apple store employee destroying it.
It comes with 16GB standard, and supports up to 64GB SDHC cards (I've heard, but not confirmed, that others have put larger in).

I'm not sure what you are referring to, but it certainly isn't a modern Blackberry device.

Not every corporation has submitted to the whims of the Apple iFanboiz, so Blackberry products are the only "Approved" product for their executives to use.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262903)

Actually, they did, but ... I could have ported an app to the BB under its Android support, but think of all the opportunity costs in the past year that kept getting it bumped to the bottom of my to-do list. I mean, port the app to the BB, or to the Kindle Fire? Who has more users? Port the app to the BB, or implement cool new features? The demand never justified spending the time on BB.

And the developer tools for the BB blow so hard it's not even funny. You have to install some awful VM crap that doesn't run on Linux. With Android, you just click some stuff and the emulator starts right up. If BB had made their Android subsystem easier to use, more apps may have been ported. I'm really happy that they solved this problem and got Amazon aboard (since my app is in that store), but why didn't BB solve this problem from DAY ONE so people like me would port our apps!? I never even got to their awful app-signing and app-uploading garbage - it seemed to be designed to keep developers off their platform. BB 10 was promising, with Android support, but botched very badly.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47263053)

Not *all* the apps of Android; just those that'll run on the BB Android subsystem, which does not have the licensing to support, for one thing, the Google Play API.

Also, since we've been able to run Android apps on BB10 for quite some time now, the availability of the Amazon Market app on BB10 is not new, since one could always install the existing Android app. The new app being announced here will simply be available to install directly from BB's App World store -- and it may even (read: almost certainly) end up being a port of that same Android app to the BB OS, and not an app compiled for the native BB10 OS, which will mean that it won't be as smooth, fast, or stable as a native app (because the BB10 Android runtime is not very smooth, fast, or stable).

Re:Finally (1)

hawkbat05 (1952326) | about 2 months ago | (#47263121)

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://crackberry.com/how-get-... [crackberry.com] .

Re:Finally (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 months ago | (#47263525)

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 generally deal with every app store (and really, if you gotten past Apple, you should be able to get past Amazon easily). But if there's a niche Android app that's only on the Play store, you're SOL.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47264307)

>But if there's a niche Android app that's only on the Play store, you're SOL.

Not really [redlightoflove.com] .

Re:Finally (1)

joemck (809949) | about 2 months ago | (#47275545)

Wonder if this can be made to work on normal Android devices. Some cheapo ones don't come with Play Store. On other somewhat outdated devices, Play Store insists on updating itself to a new version that absolutely BLOWS on older hardware.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47270375)

Blackberry? Are they still going? How quaint!

Enough for a niche (1)

Himmy32 (650060) | about 2 months ago | (#47262441)

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.

I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (3, Informative)

enharmonix (988983) | about 2 months ago | (#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?

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262581)

Actually quote a nice phone, been on the Z10 for personal use for a while now, and rather prefer the 'use' of the BB10 OS over the iOS (have an ipod Touch and use both daily).... allowing the Android apps to 'officially' be part of the system is a great step, albeit 3 years too late.

Re: I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47285951)

Yeah my wife and I both have z30's for our personal phones. We left android for them and absolutely no regrets. Very nice OS, smooth flowing, great graphics. Never been with apple but the bb10 blows android away in our opinions. Our friends have wondered what they were and were wowed upon playing with them...oh btw, we're in the southern US

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262633)

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?

Actually I know several people who have got a BB recently for personal use. Perhaps it's only in Canada, but the bang per buck for their demographic was by far the best.

Re: I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47264075)

A Canadian here who owns a touch screen blackberry as my most recent phone and first blackberry. They were bad for a bit, but the latest phones are very well designed, and the OS is very slick.

Blackberries are becoming popular again in Canada, which means they are good. For those of you that don't live here, you need to understand that Canadians will actually AVOID made in Canada products unless they are cheaper or of better quality, and blackberries are not cheaper.

Re: I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 months ago | (#47264465)

Can you define "popular" for me? Sales figures indicate they are a bit player that is even losing enterprise share. I see no indication of even a negligible uptick in sales in Canada or anywhere else. BB's value seems solely defined these days by its patent portfolio and secure messaging system. The hardware has been in a major decline for four or five years now, and shows absolutely no sign of recovery.

Re: I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (1)

DG (989) | about 2 months ago | (#47274285)

When I lived in Toronto, about a year ago, I had to look hard to find anyone using an Apple or Android phone.

It was all BlackBerry - on the subway, in Starbucks, on the street - BB ruled the roost.

And the BB10 phones are *amazing*. The UI is bar none the best designed for a phone I've ever encountered.

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47262677)

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.

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262779)

Yeah, I know, I'm running a 7 year old android and it's fucking terrible! Goddamn alpha quality software! All android phones are shit! Why would anyone want something that can't even browse the web for personal use?!

I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (1)

Jmstuckman (561420) | about 2 months ago | (#47262811)

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 faster than I can with any virtual keyboard. All of the current Android phones with physical keyboards are junk, so the BlackBerry was my best bet.

Incidentally, I've already been using the Amazon Appstore on BlackBerry for quite a while. One can simply download the APK from Amazon and install it on the BlackBerry -- no rooting required.

However, the biggest thing that I miss on BlackBerry is a good Maps app, and the Amazon Appstore doesn't really help here because Amazon doesn't have any good map and navigation apps either (or at least none that will work on small screen sizes).

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47263151)

How does Google Maps not constitute a "good" maps app? I use it (and Waze) all the time, and the only thing it doesn't do that I'd like is let me sign in with a Google ID so I can save and recall destinations for turn-by-turn navigation. It even supports downloading maps for offline navigation now.

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (1)

Jmstuckman (561420) | about 2 months ago | (#47263731)

Google Maps is a GREAT maps app. My point is that Blackberry devices won't run it -- it's not in the Amazon appstore.

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (1)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | about 2 months ago | (#47263925)

Waze is available on BB, fantastic app and free. Look for "Waze" in the BB World app store.

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (1)

Jmstuckman (561420) | about 2 months ago | (#47265525)

Waze for BB10 doesn't support the Q10 (screen too small). Maybe it supports the Z10, but if I wanted a phone without a physical keyboard, why shouldn't I just buy an Android phone and be done with it?

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 months ago | (#47262895)

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 groove back.
First Groove the iMac: All technology aside it was a decent computer that came in colorful colors, and rather easy for a college kid to pack up at the end of the semester.
Second Groove Titanium Powerbook: A powerful laptop that came with OS X, which allowed for serious work to be done again. In a thin(for the time) case.
Third Groove: the iPod it fit what the market actually wanted, other MP3 players were either too small in storage or too bulky. With the addition of the iTunes store it added a legal way to get digital songs without going threw questionable channels.
Third and a half Groove: the iPhone the iPad they grew off of the iPods popularity, and changed how people think of smart phones, which caught Blackberry with its pants down.

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47264779)

Tibook at launch was OS9. OSX 10.0 was RTM three months later.

Sweet machine. A friend of mine was burgled a couple of years ago while he was away over Christmas. The only thing he was really bothered about was they took his Tibook, and most likely had no idea what it was.

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47265255)

I actually really, really love my Z10. The way it handles mail is far superior than anything I've tried on Android. I'm not a bandwagon jumper and honestly just like the way I can swipe, navigate and multitask. It's an underrated phone, in my opinion. I only know one other guy in my company who has one, and he loves it too.
(posting as AC because I don't feel like signing up for /. spam)

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262901)

Me. I have a Z10, wife is on a Z30. We love them. And I want the Z50 when that comes out (rumored to be about 6 months out) when my contract is up.

Why?

Primary use:
1) phone
2) e-mail
3) Occasional messagin app
4) play music (mp3 and Pandora)

That's my 99% use case. The thing is, it does all these things better than Android and iOS.

And if I need an Android app, I can install it and it usually works. So far I have needed the Disney World park app that shows wait times and it works fine. Installed Clash of Clans to see whathte fuss is about. it works, but I have better things to do with my life than play games.

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 2 months ago | (#47263195)

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]

Re: I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (1)

GeekBoy (10877) | about 2 months ago | (#47263965)

In my experience, most of Latin America and the Caribbean is like that. Everyone had BlackBerry and BBM, iphone and Android were nowhere to be found. I did see a couple ipads though

Market share predicted to be 0.3% by 2018 (1)

kbahey (102895) | about 2 months ago | (#47264373)

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] .

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47264725)

But that's only half the question, and it's similar to the position MS is in, and why it's trying to push Surface: You might have company issued blackberries and windows laptops but the users don't like them.

Our execs pushed to be issued iPhones instead of blackberries, and frankly, they get much more use out of them. Our users prefer to travel with their macbook airs and connect to citrix than carry our power user laptops because they weight 1/3rd as much.

The old days of "you'll use what we give you and you'll like it" are over. Nowadays they'll complain to the CEO that IT is stuck in the 20th century or just buy their own tech and use it and there isn't much the CIO/CTO can do when the whole company is against a policy.

This change might slow down the bleeding of the enterprise blackberry market. You get the known blackberry features and management and users get all the android crap they can get from Amazon. Now the CIO can tell everyone to hold on, they'll get their apps in a secure platform or whatever. (And IT can deploy Webex, jabber, lync, dropbox and whatever apps they couldn't because they weren't supported or up to date before)

Re:I'm sorry, could you repeat the question? (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 2 months ago | (#47264903)

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.)

Screen size makes it tricky (1)

Hammeh (2481572) | about 2 months ago | (#47262499)

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!

The question is can they make enough money? (1)

putaro (235078) | about 2 months ago | (#47262541)

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?

Re:The question is can they make enough money? (1)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47262619)

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.

Re:The question is can they make enough money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262733)

If Blackberry can get Android permissions right (e.g. return an empty contact list and an empty browsing history to apps, unless I say otherwise), then they might create something truly useful.

Save blackberry? (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 2 months ago | (#47262545)

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.

Re:Save blackberry? (2)

CMYKjunkie (1594319) | about 2 months ago | (#47262707)

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" $100 per device). IT described it to me as "status quo with better hardware, and we can kick the can of moving platforms down the line or until BB goes out of business."

Re:Save blackberry? (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 2 months ago | (#47262977)

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 government circles people want to limit the kinds of apps that their employees can download on company issued phones for liability, security and cost issues. So just giving them open access to the Amazon app store is not going to cut it.

To me blackberry would offer an android phone based on their good hardware and with an integrated app suites for business and backward compatible with their infrastructure. And then offer an android app store that businesses and government themselves can set the parameters for what types of apps can be downloaded. Sure it could be based on Amazon's app store, but has to be tailorable for different business needs.

Re:Save blackberry? (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 2 months ago | (#47264995)

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.

Re:Save blackberry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47265777)

To your point, SAVE100BB149 will get you an unlocked z10 for $200 on BlackBerry's online store.

Re:Save blackberry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47263255)

Assuming the the US market is the only factor in evaluating the health of BB is a mistake. Outside the US, BB's market share in handsets is significant. What really sounds the warning buzzers is the fact that they killed off their brand-defining central strength: the proprietary BES server. What's been available for the last couple of years uses Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol instead of the proprietary service they built their company on -- and the feature loss is not negligible.

Re:Save blackberry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47263299)

When your market share in the consumer market is approximately 0% "saving" is not good, what you need to do is grow market share.

The key to any business succeeding is to "suck less" [than your competition].

They can do it with service and with hardware, if they want.

They will have a hell of a time doing it with developer tools and such. Why should I write apps for a 0% market share device? If I write an app for Android and IOS, I have something like 85% of the market, which is FAR MORE than the 60% I need to succeed [quickanddirtytips.com] .

Re:Save blackberry? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 months ago | (#47264495)

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.

Re:Save blackberry? (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 2 months ago | (#47264685)

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 features were pretty much equal with other top of the line smartphones. Could be more or could be less, but 15% of the consumer market would sure beat 0%.

Re:Save blackberry? (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 2 months ago | (#47265051)

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.

great job Amazon (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 2 months ago | (#47262561)

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.

Re:great job Amazon (1)

tapi0 (2805569) | about 2 months ago | (#47263561)

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

Wait, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262575)

you mean people still use Blackberries?

Re:Wait, (1)

narcc (412956) | about 2 months ago | (#47262765)

Yep. I'd switch, but no one has yet matched their UI.

Every BB10 device will get 10.3! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262623)

Eventually.
Have I lied to you? I mean in this room.

Old tech (1)

MindOpen2 (78481) | about 2 months ago | (#47262639)

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

Re:Old tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47297723)

Sort of...and it's as secure, reliable, and unpretentiously productive as that old rotary dial. It's not for children who don't understand or play with toy phones for distraction. It's more for the older crowd who needs to communicate and get things done quickly so we can get on with our real world lives.

Now take your new fangled Android and GOogle play somewhere. Nothing to see here. Move along...

too little... (1)

Ragnarok89 (1066010) | about 2 months ago | (#47262697)

WAAAAAAYYYY to late.

Re:too little... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47297747)

Better late than never. I root for the underdog and welcome more choice in the market. I'm tired of choosing between overly expensive and selling my soul to advertising.

Now, now childrens... (1)

Zeorge (1954266) | about 2 months ago | (#47262727)

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 its design and Apple has been steadily been working on enterprise specific improvements. I don't think Apple wanted to fully commit to that as BB had a sizeable market share, factor in risk, ROI, it probably did not make sense, back then. Now, different story, waning of BB hardware and software and I know the USG is looking at iPhones.

Re:Now, now childrens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47263431)

The move to Android as the native OS was considered and rejected by RIM years ago, when they were considering exactly what to replace their Java-based home-brewed OS with. I think they made the right choice in rejecting Android; it's unstable, fragmented, and extremely vulnerable. The choice they did make, QNX, is stable, fast, and smooth.

Re:Now, now childrens... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 months ago | (#47264521)

If your logic held, we'd all be running OS/2 right now, and Windows would be a distant memory of some flaky OS code-named Chicago all them years ago.

In reality, bugginess is irrelevant. What counts is acceptance and penetration, and in that vein, Android hasn't just beaten BB, it's literally wiped it off the map.

Yes, I know QNX shows up in some embedded hardware (which was what it was designed for the in the first place), but as a mainstream smartdevice OS it is now officially a failure.

And honestly, I have two Android devices (Nexus 7 2012 edition and Nexut 5). Yeah, every once in a while an app burps, but I have no major stability issues that I can think of. Not only that, if I don't like Google's version of Android, there's always Cyanogenmod (though the devices work so well I have no desire to go that route).

"We have what everyone else has!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47262853)

Well, over 1 million apps at Google Play hasn't helped the Nook, so a quarter-million apps at Amazon probably won't help BlackBerry. How do you differentiate yourself by screaming "we have what everyone else has!" to the general public?

Re:"We have what everyone else has!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47265079)

Nothing can help the Nook. It's still running Android 2.3.

And here's a great one: If you hack it and use Cyanogenmod to install 4.1, the B&N Nook App won't install because it considers the Nook an incompatible device!

wow (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#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.

Let's be honest for a second here (1)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 2 months ago | (#47263875)

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.

I may be missing something here, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47264037)

The Amazon App Store has been available for Blackberry for ages (since 10.2.1 and native support for .apk files was released). This just means that it'll get preinstalled along with the OS, like many other non-BB apps are.

Also don't forget that (via Snap) Google Play apps are directly available too.

Once you get used to BB10 gestures (1)

frog_strat (852055) | about 2 months ago | (#47264051)

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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