RIM Debuts App Store for BlackBerry
Research In Motion, maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphones, used the
CTIA Wireless convention in Las Vegas
to announce its answer to Apple's highly regarded online application store, BlackBerry
App World, where users can download applications directly from their BlackBerry
The "on-device" store supports both free and for-purchase applications and is available to BlackBerry smartphone users in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, with more country launches to follow. The design is centered on a "front page carousel" that allows users to browse through a select number of featured applications. RIM said featured applications will vary from week to week, although a "top apps" feature will supply users with a list of the most popular applications.
"The BlackBerry platform provides a truly unparalleled mobile experience for millions of people, and we are thrilled today to enhance that experience with a new app store that helps connect consumers with developers and carriers," said RIM President and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. "BlackBerry App World aggregates a wide variety of personal and business apps in a way that makes it very easy for consumers to discover and download the apps that suit them while preserving the appropriate IT architecture and controls required by our enterprise customers."
BlackBerry App World includes a keyword search capability as well as application reviews and recommendations, which can be sent to other people through e-mail, PIN, SMS message or BlackBerry Messenger. The store also includes a folder called My World, which can keep track of applications the user has downloaded. It functions as a personal storage space that allows users to uninstall and reinstall applications and to transfer purchased applications to a new BlackBerry smartphone.
RIM said it expects approximately 1,000 applications to be posted by partners on BlackBerry App World this week, including applications from Salesforce.com, The New York Times, Bloomberg and MTV Networks. The company said the store is available for BlackBerry smartphones with a trackball or touch-screen running BlackBerry device software 4.2 or higher.
"BlackBerry App World provides a fantastic new resource for consumers and an equally exciting progression of business opportunities for our developer and carrier partners," said Jim Balsillie, co-CEO. "We are launching BlackBerry App World with a solid selection, and we look forward to working with our partners to continue delivering the types of apps that best suit our customers' personalized needs and interests."