updated 05:40 pm EDT, Tue August 24, 2010
RIM snaps up mobile store firm Cellmania
RIM today bought Cellmania in what's a likely bid to improve BlackBerry App World. The new acquisition, which primarily produces software at the heart of others' mobile app stores, didn't provide many details of its project but expected to work on "Application Storefront development" for BlackBerry phones. It plans to continue supporting its existing customers but will be devoted entirely to RIM for any new work.
The firm may be essential to reinvigorating RIM's stalled ambitions for App World. Although it regularly claims to have a better store with "super apps," it currently has just 9,000 titles where Android may have passed 100,000 and Apple's App Store passed 225,000 months ago. Many of the titles at BlackBerry App World are often ports from other platforms.
Some of the reluctance to develop for the store may have come from lagging infrastructure and pricing policies that Cellmania might address. With App World 2.0, RIM only just added features that had been common in other stores, such as having an account that can bring apps from device to device or paying with a credit card. The difficulty of paying for and keeping apps has led fewer to buy BlackBerry apps where it's easier on iPhones and Android devices. [via TechCrunch]