One of the things that makes the iPhone such a useful and popular device has nothing to do with the smartphone itself. Rather it has to do with the well-supported and vast number of apps that are available to add features and content to the iPhone.
The App Store is also making Apple a large amount of money with analysts predicting last year that the App Store could become a billion dollar business for Apple. With such high expectations and profitability, coming from the App Store it's no surprise that other smartphone makers are trying to emulate the App Store's success, just as they have tried to copy the success of the iPhone.
RIM has announced that its new application store for the Blackberry smartphone will be called BlackBerry App World and went live for developers on March 4. The new storefront is similar to the App Store and Google's Android Market and allows developers to provide apps for Blackberry devices for free and apps that cost money.
EWeek reports that RIM has set up a sign-up page for Blackberry users that want to be notified when the App Store opens for the public. RIM issued a press release stating in part, "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."
RIM isn't giving any sort of time frame for the public launch of the BlackBerry App World and it would be safe to assume the launch date will vary depending on how quickly developers provide apps for the storefront.