BlackBerry maker joins the fray with app store

Apr 01, 2009 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer
Mike Lazaridis, President and co-CEO of Research in Motion, speaks at the International CTIA Wireless show in Las Vegas, Wednesday, April 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(AP) -- Research in Motion Ltd., the maker of BlackBerry phones, launched its awaited one-stop shop for add-on applications on Wednesday.

While third-party programs have long been available for BlackBerrys from many sources, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company is now following in Apple Inc.'s footsteps by creating and operating a central store. Every other major company in the "smart" phone industry is doing the same.

BlackBerry App World is available as a free download from RIM's Web site, with 1,000 applications. Users need an account with eBay Inc.'s PayPal payment service and a BlackBerry with a trackball or touch screen.

RIM Co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie said the company is looking to strike deals with wireless carriers so that shoppers can charge their purchases to their phone bill instead of using PayPal. App World will share revenue with the carriers and allow them set up their own stores within the store.

Top applications downloaded by BlackBerry users by midday were free ones, including news browser Viigo, music service Shazam and a Facebook program.

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced that carrier stores and billing will be part of its Windows Marketplace for Mobile, an applications store that will launch with new phones toward the end of the year.

Nokia Corp., the world's largest maker of cell phones, has several application stores but said earlier this year that it would combine them into one. Google Inc. runs an Android Marketplace of programs for the T-Mobile G1 phone, which will be joined by other phones running Google's Android software this year.

The launch of App World coincides with a speech by RIM's other co-CEO, Mike Lazaridis, at a cell phone trade show opening Wednesday in Las Vegas. He profiled the BlackBerry as a music-playing device, an important capability now that RIM is taking it from a business-oriented e-mail gadget to a mainstream smart phone competing with the iPhone. App World contains free Internet radio applications like Slacker and Pandora.

But Balsillie said RIM has no plans to launch a music store of its own, like Apple and Nokia have.

"The key thing is to play the enabling card to all the music stores that are out there," Balsillie said. "It would make as much sense for me to create my music store as it would be me to create my own e-mail application to compete with Yahoo and Gmail."

---

On the Net:

http://www.blackberry.com/appworld

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Google debuts $105 Android One smartphone in India

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

RIM Courts Broader Market with BlackBerry Curve

May 03, 2007

Research In Motion is rolling out the smallest and lightest full-keyboard BlackBerry smart phone yet, a new multimedia-laden device aimed at broadening the market that it seeks to conquer.

Microsoft vows openness for mobile app store

Mar 11, 2009

(AP) -- Microsoft Corp. plans a central market to sell programs for cell phones running the Windows Mobile system. It hews closely to the setup of Apple Inc.'s App Store for iPhones, with one notable exception - Microsoft ...

RIM Announces PBX Integration, Wi-Fi

May 13, 2007

The company's BlackBerry Mobile Voice System integrates BlackBerry devices with corporate PBXes; RIM is also focusing on areas like Wi-Fi, navigation and entertainment.

Seven Things Missing From First Google Phone

Dec 02, 2008

The first Google phone, the G1, went on sale October 21, 2008. No one was camped out in front of the store and you can buy one today at your T-Mobile store or BestBuy for $179.

Recommended for you

Apple sees record demand for new iPhones

Sep 15, 2014

Apple on Monday said it had received record pre-orders for its new iPhone models, and that some customers will have to wait for the larger-screen versions of the smartphones.

China demand to fuel Hong Kong iPhone grey market

Sep 13, 2014

Wealthy mainland Chinese looking to buy the new iPhone 6 next week could expect to pay an eye-watering US$2,500 for the handsets in Hong Kong, following Apple's decision to delay the launch in China.

Buyers bite big at larger Apple iPhones

Sep 12, 2014

Apple's website was swamped Friday in what appeared to be a record-setting buying binge fueled by smartphone buyers' desire for large-screen iPhones.

User comments : 0