Palm's Paid App Beta Program Goes Live

You've got to hand it to 'em here, Palm sure is doing a bang-up job in reviving itself. Around this time last year, many pundits wondered if the company famous for creating the Palm Pilot and Treo smartphone would live to reach the next decade. The Palm Pre turned things around for the California-based company, but it's still struggling to contend with Apple's almighty App Store.

You see, no matter how swank the Pre's webOS is, it still lags badly in the app quantity department. Apple has well over 50,000 apps to choose from. The Pre has less than 50. All that could begin to change in the near future, however, as this week Palm opened up its e-commerce beta program for the Palm App Catalog.

If you're curious, that's Palm's version of a paid app store. Starting today, developers who wish to charge for their webOS applications can begin submitting them for consideration in the App Catalog e-commerce beta program, which will begin in mid-September. Devs who make the cut will have the opportunity to have their applications, both free and paid, featured in the Palm App Catalog ahead of the next wave, and to be among the first to be paid for purchases of their Palm webOS applications.

What's in it for coders? Cash, naturally. Palm will hand over 70% of the profits to devs, while 30% remains with Palm to cover all those expenses we common folk don't even want to think about. Customers will be able to easily purchase applications using Visa and MasterCard credit cards, though the program won't begin until this fall in the US at the earliest. We hate to be brash, but we definitely hope more free apps show up before we start focusing on paid apps. You've got to build a following before asking 'em to pay, right?