BlackBerry opens two app stores


BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) is to launch two new BlackBerry application distribution channels to enable developers to get to market more easily.

The new application channels, ‘Storefront’ and ‘Centre,’ will help application developers and network operators reach BlackBerry users worldwide, and to offer users a greater range of applications to be downloaded direct to their handset.

The BlackBerry application, ‘Storefront’ allows developers to submit and set their own prices on applications, receiving 80 per cent of the fee paid on each sale. It will be available by March 2009.

The ‘Centre’ application allows carriers to offer specific applications on the handset.

The move follows RIM’s Facebook application, which has been downloaded on more than one million BlackBerry handsets in the last 12 months. It also follows popular consumer application stores from Apple, for its iPhone handsets, and Google, for handsets equipped with its new Android platform.

RIM president and co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis said: “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.

“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.”