RIM to launch online store for BlackBerry apps

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RIM to launch online store for BlackBerry apps

A new online storefront will allow BlackBerry application developers to reach users worldwide from March 2009.

When launched, the storefront will allow developers to set their own prices for applications and retain 80 percent of the revenue generated from their applications.

The move by BlackBerry vendor Research in Motion (RIM) to support third-party developers in this manner is reminiscent of Apple’s launch of the iPhone store earlier this year.

As well as the online storefront, RIM will be launching an on-device BlackBerry application centre that allows users to discover and install new applications conveniently.

RIM is working with PayPal to provide consumers with a convenient payment method within the new application storefront and from their smartphone.

The vendor also is working with its carrier partners to provide carrier-customised, on-device application centres that offer a broader catalogue of after-market application downloads.

“The BlackBerry platform enjoys strong roots in the enterprise market and we continue to invest for growth and success with our enterprise channel partners,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion.

“But the introduction of more consumer-friendly features in BlackBerry smartphones has clearly helped generate a groundswell of interest with new developers that has already resulted in the introduction of thousands of consumer and lifestyle oriented applications for BlackBerry smartphones,” he said in a statement to the media.

“The new BlackBerry application storefront and BlackBerry application centres will further support the growing BlackBerry ecosystem and help bridge consumers with developers and carriers as more and more innovative and interesting applications arrive,” Lazaridis said.

RIM already is working with carrier partners on plans to roll out the BlackBerry application centre on future BlackBerry smartphones.

Developers will be able to begin submitting their applications and content for inclusion in the storefront from December 2008.

Organisations that have deployed BlackBerry Enterprise Server or BlackBerry Professional Software will retain control of what applications can be downloaded to BlackBerry smartphones within their corporate deployments.

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