Research In Motion (RIM), a long time smart phone leader, has finally caught up to the times releasing its own Applications market. While RIM releases some of the most popular business smart phones -- Blackberries -- it has lost some ground to Apple's iPhone and Google's G1 phone which both feature an application marketplace.
Now it has launched its BlackBerry App World store, its response to these competitors. Support for the store will be rolled out onto Blackberry phones nationwide. The store will offer both free and priced applications available via over-the-air download. The store is currently only available in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, but more countries will soon be added.
The front page of App World will feature a carousel like design of featured applications, which will vary weekly. A list of most popular applications is also included. The site features a keyword search capability, as well as reviews and recommendations. People can send recommendations via email, PIN, SMS message or BlackBerry Messenger
RIM president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis states, "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. 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."
Users of the new store get a folder called My World, which contains applications they've previously purchased/downloaded. Applications can be uninstalled or reinstalled to the phone itself from this folder.
By the end of the week RIM expects 1,000 applications to be posted by partners. Among these are applications from Salesforce.com, The New York Times, Bloomberg and MTV Networks.
One downside is that some Blackberries will be left out. The store is only for BlackBerry smartphones with a trackball or touch-screen running BlackBerries with device software 4.2 or higher.
Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM is excited about the store and opportunity it gives its company to take on the competition. He states, "BlackBerry App World provides a fantastic new resource for consumers and an equally exciting progression of business opportunities for our developer and carrier partners. 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."
quote: RIM joins the likes of Apple and Google in offering its own exclusive applications marketplace