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3/5/2009
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BlackBerry 'App World' Poised To Launch

The mobile programs will be distributed later this month, with a minimum price of $2.99 for paid apps and a bonus for developers.

Research In Motion is preparing to roll out its online store for distributing mobile applications over the air, and it released some details on pricing.

The store, which will be called App World, will launch at the end of the month, and it's accepting developer submissions now. The store is primarily aimed at the nonenterprise user, which accounts for about 40% of BlackBerry subscribers. App World will only be compatible with newer BlackBerry handhelds like the Bold, Storm, Curve, Pearl, and Flip series.

RIM is implementing a higher pricing structure than its competitors, as the minimum price for paid applications will be $2.99. By contrast, Apple and Google both have 99 cents as the lowest price developers can charge for apps. One possible reason for the higher price could be that RIM is using PayPal for its payment system, while Apple and Google use in-house products for payment.

Apple's App Store has been very successful, as more than half a billion programs have been downloaded in about seven months. But the vast majority of these downloads are free apps, or cost 99 cents, so it's unclear if BlackBerry users will download programs at a similar rate.

Developers do get a larger cut of the sales with RIM, though, as content creators will be able to keep 80% of the revenue from sold apps. This is 10% more than developers get to keep when selling apps in the App Store or the Android Market.

Content creators will be able to distribute free applications through App World, but developers will have to share revenue with RIM if these apps generate revenue after download. By contrast, there's a growing cottage industry that's trying to capitalize on the success of free iPhone apps. Companies like Medialets and AdMob have launched ad platforms for apps, and the companies don't have to give Apple a cut of the revenue.


Mobile applications can boost a workforce's productivity but can bring up multiple questions about security. InformationWeek analyzed how to get a handle on locking down data when it's on the move, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).

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