BlackBerry App World Launching This Week

Say what you will about the iPhone (and the App Store in particular), but it has undoubtedly set off a chain reaction of me-toos. Not long ago, the Android Market was launched to bring the all-too-familiar app shopping experience to G1 users, and now we're hearing that RIM, Nokia and Microsoft are planning to follow suit in short order. Reportedly, Research In Motion will be the first of the trio to debut its own application mart when the CTIA trade show kicks off on Wednesday. The name? BlackBerry App World.

We know, it's not the catchiest thing we've ever heard, but it'll do. According to research firm Gartner, the number of mobile phones that can "browse the Web and handle other advanced tasks is expected to surge from 139 million last year to 295 million in 2010," and you can bet a huge chunk of those will be BlackBerry devices. Still, many may think that cranking up a dedicated software store on a handset line that has generally catered to business professionals is a bit... odd. And in truth, that would absolutely have been the case just three or four years ago. Today, however, RIM has done an amazing job of getting its BlackBerry handsets into the hands of mere mortals, not just the suits that carried them (and continue to do so) for so long. Now, one could argue that RIM has at least two BlackBerrys that compete directly with Apple's iPhone: the Bold and the Storm.

Store), meaning more cash for Beyond all that, RIM's making it mighty enticing for developers to drop their projects with Apple and move over to App World. Rather than keeping 30% of the profit like Apple, RIM will only keep 20%; furthermore, the minimum price for paid apps will be set at $2.99 (versus $0.99 in Apple's Appdevs should consumers agree to buy. Of course, this won't be the first time third-party apps have been made available for the BlackBerry, but it will be the first time that everything is neatly categorized into a central marketplace for easy browsing and buying. We'd keep an eye on Las Vegas this April 1st if you're hungry for even more details.