RIM is finally taking the wraps off its BlackBerry application storefront, which it will brand as BlackBerry App World; the device maker previously announced the portal would operate under the BlackBerry Application Center aegis.
RIM says the download service is tied to devices running the BlackBerry OS version 4.2 or higher - devices must also feature a trackball or SurePress touchscreen (like the BlackBerry Storm).
App World initially will be available in the US, Canada and the UK, and while it will support only English at launch, RIM will add French, Italian, German and Spanish language support as it expands into new international markets.
According to the BlackBerry App World developer FAQ, RIM will institute significantly tighter pricing restrictions than rival app portals--while the service will offer both free and premium applications, developers must charge a minimum of $2.99 for paid apps.
While Apple's App Store enables contributors to price their iPhone and iPod touch apps for as little as 99 cents, the policy has come under fire from some programmers for effectively discouraging development of more sophisticated and higher-priced downloads.
RIM will expressly forbid downloading or running apps from the BlackBerry device's microSD card slot. Electronista notes that such a restriction ostensibly cripples piracy but also limits the quantity and size of apps - no BlackBerry device offers more internal storage than the Bold, which boasts 1GB of flash memory. The rule also restricts the ability to transfer apps to multiple devices.
For more on BlackBerry App World:
- read this Electronista article