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RIM's Lazaridis Stakes out BlackBerry App World at CTIA

  • Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2009
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Blackberry

By Jason Ankeny

Research In Motion officially unveiled its BlackBerry App World virtual storefront in conjunction with president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis' keynote appearance today at CTIA Wireless 2009 in Las Vegas. According to Lazaridis, the on-device storefront promises a broad cross-section of personal and business applications for BlackBerry smartphones: "We've worked closely with our carrier and developer partners," he said. "[BlackBerry App World] aggregates applications in one place, and gives enterprise customers the controls they need."

According to RIM, BlackBerry App World is designed to automatically spotlight relevant premium and free applications according to each individual user's respective BlackBerry device model--each week, the Front Page Carousel feature will showcase a suite of new apps, complementing the list of Top Downloads. In addition to user reviews, complete screenshots and app descriptions, the store will enable BlackBerry users to recommend applications to contacts via email, PIN, text message or BlackBerry Messenger.

RIM will break down BlackBerry App World downloads into 13 different categories: Entertainment, Games, Maps and Navigation, Music and Video, News and Weather, Personal Health and Wellness, Personal Finance and Banking, Productivity and Utilities, Professional and Business, Reference and eBooks, Social Networking and Sharing, Sports and Recreation, and Travel. Users may access the store via both cellular and WiFi networks.

BlackBerry App World will also include My World, a personal storage space that keeps track of all the user's downloads to date, offering uninstall and re-install tools and premium application transfers. "Users can search by title, browse by category, read and submit reviews, [and] purchase applications via PayPal," Lazaridis said.

RIM adds that BlackBerry App World will offer about 1,000 applications at launch. Confirmed contributors include Bloomberg, Clear Channel, Gameloft, Lonely Planet, MTV Networks, The New York Times, Pandora, Shazam, Slacker, Vligo and WorldMate.

The store will also spotlight social media applications--Lazaridis reports that more than 10 million BlackBerry users have downloaded existing apps for Facebook and MySpace. In addition, Lazardis offered a glimpse of the forthcoming PrimeTime2Go, its rumored full episode mobile TV service. He offered few additional details on the service, but did note it is being developed in association with mobile TV and video solutions provider QuickPlay Media.

Supported by smartphones with a trackball or touchscreen running BlackBerry device software 4.2 or higher, BlackBerry App World is available now for consumers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, with additional international markets scheduled to follow. "We as an industry have been investing and building up to the convergence that's happening today," Lazaridis said. "This convergence is made possible by smartphones." [FierceWireless]

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