RIM could not possibly ignore the successful package and runaway success of Apple’s iTunes App Store; its formerly named App Centre is now known as App World and will be available sometime this spring.
Only those with devices running on RIM’s BlackBerry OS 4.2+ (this includse the BlackBerry Storm, Bold and 8900) will be able to take advantage of the applications for download on App World, and in an unusual move, all downlaoders will have to purchase their apps via their Paypal account.
Unlike the iPhone App Store, there will not be plenty of cheap and cheerful apps in the €1 and less price range (although some will be free).
RIM has said that pricing will be set at US$2.99 and upwards, with a dollar difference in apps costing up to US$19.99.
After this, applications will cost anywhere between US$19.99 and US$99.99, with a US$10 jump in between each price point.
The reason RIM gave for purposely not adding cheap applications is that this will control the quality of apps available in the store, although there will be free apps available. These will presumably be ones already in existence, such as those on offer from Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, Google and so on.
For now, RIM said that App World will only be available to the UK, US and Canada market (Fingers crossed this will somehow include Ireland!) and BlackBerry users can sign up here for updates on availability.
By Marie Boran