RIM to launch BlackBerry Application Center

Device maker Research In Motion is poised to introduce the BlackBerry Application Center, a virtual software storefront to rival Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market. According to leaked information obtained by enthusiast community Crackberry.com, the on-device BlackBerry Application Center--which will make its debut via the BlackBerry Storm version 4.7 operating system--will enable users to discover, browse and install third-party BlackBerry apps hosted by mobile operators, serving as the primary interface between the consumer and the carrier's directory of downloadable software.

The BlackBerry Application Center promises one-click, browser-based installation--users will only see applications available for their specific device model and OS version, with related information for each app including full descriptions, the date of the most recent software update and alerts when new updates become available. Carriers will assume responsibility for hosting application data and sending updates to a RIM-hosted server backend.

Last month, mobile content and applications provider MobiHand announced a partnership with CrackBerry.com to launch their own on-device application storefront for BlackBerry smartphone users. The digital retail portal enables consumers to browse and search thousands of applications optimized for their particular Research In Motion-produced device, and will integrate with the BlackBerry Wallet m-commerce service to simplify to purchasing process. According to MobiHand, users may purchase applications in a single click, with over-the-air delivery following within seconds of registration. No word on how, if at all, the launch of an official, RIM-operated BlackBerry app service will impact MobiHand's rival effort.

For more on the BlackBerry Application Center:
- read this Crackberry.com article

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