BlackBerry has seriously been through some rough times recently, from a lack of handset popularity with consumers to awful financial figures.
However, there has been a string of news over the last few weeks that suggest that there may be a turnaround underway in the BlackBerry story.
A trio of news stories from BlackBerry include a financial report that shows the struggling company returning to past performance and posting a profit.
BlackBerry has also announced the upcoming release of the BlackBerry Passport, an unusual looking smartphone that has a form that is almost square.
This mobile phone will stand-out in the 2014 line-up of new releases because of this unusual shape but I personally don’t think I like the idea or design, which has been used by manufacturers in the past with very limited success.
The final news story regards the Amazon Appstore, so let’s take a look at this next.
Amazon Appstore for BlackBerry
For me this is the most important and positive story that has hit the media last week.
It clearly shows that BlackBerry is listening to the voice of its existing customer base that have demanded more apps for their BlackBerry 10 devices.
Signing a licensing agreement with the Amazon Appstore, BlackBerry promise access to over 200,000 Android apps in the Autumn when the BlackBerry 10.3 operating system is released.
This will delight its loyal customer base that will be able to download everything from Netflix to the Candy Crush Saga as well as the popular Minecraft, Groupon and Pinterest apps.
Are these the apps you want to be able to download?
Two app stores
The existing app store, BlackBerry World, will continue to be supported to ensure that the powerful features of the BlackBerry 10 OS are catered for with specially tailored productivity apps.
On the 21st July the music and video section of BlackBerry World will cease to operate, although previously downloaded content will continue to work after this date through MyWorld.
Instead the future of music and video with BlackBerry will be provided through 3rd party services in both the Amazon Appstore and BlackBerry World.
We have seen a recent spat of operating systems opening themselves up to a wider choice of apps from 3rd party providers and so this news sees BlackBerry following a trend which I believe will become commonplace on all platforms.
In fact, this will offer the best of both worlds with access to thousands of Android apps whilst BlackBerry continues to focus on those special productivity and corporate based apps that initially made their phones a success in the business world.
I am not convinced that the BlackBerry Passport is the device that will set sales figures on fire as let’s face it we live in a wide-screen world! But when we see the next standard-shaped smartphone released the Amazon Appstore addition will be a positive feather in the cap.