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 [@]


  1. I see these layoffs as a real problem for the company’s image in the tech worker world. Even if BlackBerry starts to turn things around, would serious developers and tech heads actually take a job with BlackBerry knowing the uncertain future and the possibility they could get laid off sometime down the road? Even if they paid me double what I make now, I am not sure I would sign up with them because I don’t know if I will be around tomorrow.

    • I don’t think there is any question that Blackberry will be around in the future.
      I own a Blackberry z10, for personal use. I have a company issued Blackberry for business (an old bold), my daughter and Son both have Blackberries.
      In fact the only non blackberry phone we own is my Wife, and she has an S3, and it is a piece of crap.
      The big problem for Blackberry has not been their phones in recent times. It has been the marketing. I have owned my Z10 since the first week it came out, and I have been running android apps on it since day 1.
      I admit that it used to be a pain to load some apps, but that problem is long gone, and with the announcement that Blackberry is officially partnering with Amazon to offer android apps for Blackberry I think is fantastic. They should have done this a year ago.
      Let the developers create rock solid business apps, and leave the fun and games to the android developers.

      • hmmm… Jimmy not sure what dept. at BB you work at but I hope they give you at least a better parking space as that reply brought tears to my eyes…:)


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