The BlackBerry App World could be making its debut next week according to a report by Business Week. The announcement launching the application store is expected to come directly from RIM's co-CEO Mike Lazaridis during his keynote speech at the CTIA show in Las Vegas on April 1st. Other companies that have announced application stores include Nokia, Microsoft, Google and Palm. Apple's App Store is the leader that the others are all chasing. RIM is trying to lure developers by taking a 20% cut of the price paid by BlackBerry owners to buy an application vs. the 30% Apple takes with their store. Furthermore, where the lowest price download at the App Store is 99 cents, the floor for the App World will be $2.99. The idea is to keep novelty gimmicks like fart sound files at the Apple store where the buyers are less likely to be as business oriented as BlackBerry users are. So far over 800 million applications have been downloaded from the App Store where 30,000 items are now listed.
The application stores can be a serious cash cow for the cellphone companies. The number of smartphones in use is expected to rise to 295 million worldwide in 2010 from 139 million last year and could soon pass the 300 million PC market. Once all of the announced application stores open for business, with all of the potential customers (read smartphone owners) out there, the amount of money that will be changing hands will be staggering giving third party developers and the store owners a chance to score huge windfall profits.
source: Business Week