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BlackBerry App World 2.0 goes public, allows cheaper pricing

updated 06:10 pm EDT, Thu August 19, 2010

BBerry App World matches Apple on price limits

RIM tonight took BlackBerry App World 2.0 out of beta and made it available to the wider BlackBerry community with a change to price policies meant to counter Apple. The company is now dropping its minimum $2.99 requirement for paid apps and will allow both 99-cent and $1.99 apps into the store. Free apps have always been an option.

The change comes as RIM has struggled to spark widespread interest in developing for the BlackBerry. Despite regularly selling more phones than both Apple and Google's Android partners, RIM has roughly 9,000 apps where Android may have already passed 100,000 and Apple is known to be over 225,000.

Factors behind slow RIM development have been numerous, but price has played a role as it has forced companies to charge more even when they were willing to charge less, stalling sales. The relative difficulty of writing apps until at least BlackBerry 6 has also influenced decisions to support the platform, as has the lack of any significant 3D support and the unwillingness to preload the App World portal out of the box until the BlackBerry Torch.

Other changes are broad and both catch up with other app stores as well as take it ahead in some areas. Customers now finally have a sign-on, or BlackBerry ID, they can use to re-download apps rather than having them linked to certain hardware. Apps are now visible by category, and owners of camera-equipped BlackBerry phones can take photos of Android-style QR codes to jump to an app. Shoppers can opt to have apps billed to their phone bills or to a credit card instead of having to use RIM's previous PayPal-only option.

The update is available through a manual check but should push to everyone within hours.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Hamranhansenhansen

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2010

    0

    For developers, it's the size of the platform, not

    > Despite regularly selling more phones than both Apple and Google's Android partners

    Yes, they sell more phones, but they do not have a bigger app platform.

    Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod touch all run the same apps. They are part of one larger platform called iOS, and also part of an even larger platform called OS X. BlackBerry phones do not all run the same apps. Android phones do not all run the same apps. So BlackBerry and Android are much, much, much smaller developer platforms.

    The irony is that BlackBerry and Android run Java apps inside virtual machines, which is supposed to enable the same app to run on all devices, because the virtual machine is essentially one developer target. Yet that has not worked out because the hardware and interfaces are so varied. Apple, on the other hand, runs native C apps directly on the core OS, but that has worked because they kept the hardware very straightforward. They even went so far as to keep the same screen resolution for 3 years and then when they finally increased it, they doubled it, which meant that where you had 1 pixel before, you now have 4, which can emulate one pixel just by showing the same color in all 4 pixels. So the new display was automatically compatible with all the previous apps, and it was easy for developers to then one by one enable their apps to take advantage of the new display because the math just doubled.

    Also, C is much more powerful than Java, and there is more C code out in the world to port over to iPhone. So Apple has made it easier on developers in many, many ways. Apple really, really thought all of this out before they started.

    RIM is really missing an opportunity to be Pepsi to iPhone's Coke as far as apps. But software takes a lot of time to develop, and Apple has a 25 year head start.

  1. macnnoel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    0

    if true-

    I don't RIM, Google nor any of the current competitors are thinking in those terms-

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