New online distribution channels to benefit consumers, carriers and developers as market for BlackBerry applications continues to grow
Research In Motion (RIM) announced two major distribution initiatives for BlackBerry smartphone applications at the BlackBerry Developer Conference. A new online application storefront and a new on-device application center will help application developers and carriers reach millions of BlackBerry smartphone users worldwide and will provide consumers with greater choice, enhanced application discovery and an easy method for managing installation, upgrades, and purchases.
RIM plans to launch the application storefront in March 2009 and BlackBerry application developers can begin submitting their applications and content for inclusion in the storefront in December 2008. The storefront will allow developers to set their own prices for applications and developers will retain 80 percent of the revenue generated from their applications. RIM is working with PayPal, a leading global online payment service, to provide consumers with a convenient and trusted way to pay for applications within the new application storefront, right from their BlackBerry smartphone. Organizations 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.
RIM is also working with its carrier partners to provide carrier-customized, on-device application centers to help foster after-market application downloads. The BlackBerry application center will allow each carrier to offer a convenient catalog right on the device where a customer can discover and download applications. RIM has already worked with carriers successfully to provide this type of on-device distribution system for individual software applications, such as the popular Facebook for BlackBerry Smartphones application. The new BlackBerry application center will allow a carrier to build on that success with a broader catalog and provide customers with a convenient and easy method to purchase and download applications.
“The BlackBerry platform enjoys strong roots in the enterprise market and we continue to invest for growth and success with our enterprise channel partners, 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,” said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “The new BlackBerry application storefront and BlackBerry application centers will further support the growing BlackBerry ecosystem and help bridge consumers with developers and carriers as more and more innovative and interesting applications arrive.”
RIM is already working with carrier partners on plans to roll out the BlackBerry application center on future BlackBerry smartphones.