It didn’t take long for the other shoe to drop after BlackBerry came to a deal last week with the Amazon Appstore to offer 200,000 consumer apps on the company’s smart phones when BB 10.3 is released in the fall.

Today BlackBerry laid off 65 staff in its developer relations group, which dealt with software companies making BB 10 consumer apps, CBC News reported.

It’s another example of how new CEO John Chen is focusing on products and services aimed at businesses to put the struggling company back on solid financial footing.

With the Amazon deal, BlackBerry developers will focus on business apps, leaving the demand for consumer apps to be dealt with through Android apps that BB10.3 will be able to handle.

What this will mean to an enterprise BlackBerry owner is a substantially greater library of consumer applications to chose from in down time, while allowing more resources to be focused on business software — like the new eBBM suite for secure collaboration on voice and data. The first app in that suite is BBM Protected, a secure version of the BBM messaging app. Coming shortly is BBM Meetings.

For business app developers BlackBerry is promising on a blog  that in a few weeks it will unveil a new enterprise application partner program to help deliver more enterprise apps with business-class functionality.

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Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]