BlackBerry App World ditches $2.99 minimum price

Less than a month after rolling out the beta version of its upgraded BlackBerry App World storefront, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) announced last week the marketplace is now live for all BlackBerry smartphone users. There's good and bad news for developers: RIM will no longer mandate that all of the store's premium apps carry a minimum price tag of $2.99--BlackBerry App World will now offer 99 cent and $1.99 price points as well. However, moving forward RIM will retain 30 percent of all app revenues, up from the 20 percent it claimed when BlackBerry App World first launched--the move brings the store in line with the same 70/30 revenue split offered developers by rival efforts like Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market.

RIM introduced the revamped BlackBerry App World in late July--chief among the new bells and whistles, the store now supports credit card payments on top of PayPal. A handful of carrier partners support operator billing options as well. The store also boasts new tabbed sections for various application lists--users can horizontally swipe or scroll to view the Top 25 Free Apps, Top 25 Paid Apps and Top 25 Themes, along with checklists spotlighting the Newest Apps and Recently Updated Apps.

The refreshed BlackBerry App World additionally introduces BlackBerry ID, giving users a device-independent user ID tag to enable new payment options as well as seamlessly transfer their personal library of free and premium apps when they upgrade to a new BlackBerry device. Also new: Support for QR barcode scanning. RIM states that more than 30 million BlackBerry smartphone users across 65 countries have now downloaded BlackBerry App World since the store first launched in the spring of 2009, with consumers averaging more than a million app downloads each day.

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