Research In Motion has launched BlackBerry App World, a new online application store for BlackBerry smartphones that includes entertainment, games, news, and travel applications.
RIM said that the BlackBerry App World is immediately available to BlackBerry smartphone users in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, with more country launches to follow. Users in these countries can download the BlackBerry App World application to their BlackBerry smartphone by visiting www.blackberry.com/appworld from their handset.
Users can access BlackBerry App World over both Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at Research In Motion, highlighted BlackBerry App World in his keynote this morning at CTIA 2009 in Las Vegas.
BlackBerry App World features currently include:
- Front Page Carousel - BlackBerry App World showcases several applications on its front page carousel, making it easy for users to browse through a select number of featured applications.
- Top Downloads ? The "Top Downloads" area on BlackBerry App World lists applications that are the most downloaded.
- Categories ? BlackBerry App World will feature a variety of application categories. Current categories include Entertainment,
Games, Maps and Navigation, Music and Video, News and Weather, Personal Finance and Banking, Personal Health and Wellness,
Social Networking and Sharing and many more.
- Search ? BlackBerry App World includes a keyword search capability.
- Reviews ? Applications on BlackBerry App World can be reviewed by users and those reviews are reflected in star ratings.
- Recommend ? BlackBerry App World users can recommend applications to other people through email, PIN, SMS message or BlackBerry Messenger.
- Application Storage ? BlackBerry App World includes a folder called My World, which can keep track of applications the user has downloaded. It is a personal storage space that allows users to uninstall and re-install applications and to easily transfer purchased applications to a new BlackBerry smartphone.
BlackBerry App World supports both free and for-purchase applications.
Unlike the iPhone application store of rival Apple, which offers 70 percent of revenue from each piece of software to the developer, RIM plans to offer 80 percent.
The company's media-rich BlackBerry smartphones, such as the Pearl, Curve, Storm and Bold models, compete with iPhone for retail customers.
Microsoft is also working on a mobile phone software marketplace and has signed up partners such as Web music service Pandora, game publisher Electronic Arts, and social networking site Facebook.
Separately on Wednesday, Nokia, the world's biggest mobile phone maker, said on "thousands" of developers and content providers had registered to sell content in its Ovi online store, which will be opened in early May.
Microsoft and Nokia plan to offer 70 percent of application revenue to software developers.