The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone was announced a short while back and recently came available with both AT&T and T-Mobile. Time will tell how well received the handset will be, however the one argument that we keep seeing comes to the apps. And in the case of the BlackBerry — that may be better classified as a lack of apps. That is not to say BlackBerry users are necessarily missing everything though, they do have 100,000 apps available.
The interesting part with that number is where they are coming from. Of those 100,000 apps, it was said that nearly 20 percent are ported Android apps. While there is a decent amount of Android app ports, some are being brought over with BlackBerry specific features having been added. For example, Amazon added features to the ported Kindle app and eBay added push notifications.
Regardless of whether some of these apps are having BlackBerry specific features added, this sort of makes it sound like BlackBerry users may be somewhat dependent on Android apps for daily use. That thought aside, we should mention this bit of information has arrived by way of Martyn Mallick, who is BlackBerry’s vice president for global alliances and business development. Basically, that is just to say these are solid numbers and not something based on rumor.
Anyway, Mallick believes that BlackBerry users deserve to have great content and that using the Android emulation is “a very nice on-ramp” to get some of the more popular apps on the platform and that this is the fastest way to make that happen. We suspect some Android users may get a chuckle out of this, or for that matter may even take some strange sense of fanboy pride in this. Thankfully though, this is not where BlackBerry plans to stop in terms of getting apps and attracting developers. Mallick has even said that some of the developers who originally ported an app are now committing to native app development.