RIM Finally Announces Its Own Application Store

Although an application store on a mobile phone isn’t exactly new, the idea of having this functionality on a BlackBerry is. At the BlackBerry Developer Conference, RIM announced a new online application storefront and a new on-device application center for BlackBerry smartphones.

RIM plans to launch the application storefront in March 2009. Developers can start submitting applications and content for inclusion in the storefront starting in December. This storefront will allow developers to set their own prices for applications and retain 80% of the revenue generated from sales of their applications. PayPal will provide payment services within the application storefront. Under the plan, organizations will retain the ability to control what applications can be downloaded to the devices.

In addition to the application storefront, RIM is working with its carrier partners to provide an on-device application center that is customized to a carrier. The goal of this offering is to promote after-market application downloads. This type of on-device distribution is already available for individual applications, such as the Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones application. The new BlackBerry application center will build on this concept by providing carriers the means to provide customers with a broader catalog and a convenient method to purchase and download applications. RIM is currently working with carriers on plans to roll out the BlackBerry application center on upcoming BlackBerry smartphones.

Start sweet-talking your boss now, and maybe you’ll have full access to the application storefront when it launches in March.