BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has announced new plans to expand the development and uptake of applications on its range of smartphones.
The plans include a new application storefront, as well as an on-device application centre designed to help developers expand their reach while giving consumers greater choice and easier management of their programs, according to RIM.
The new store is due to open in March 2009, but developers will be able to submit applications from December. Developers will be able to set their own prices for submissions, and will keep 80 per cent of the revenue generated.
RIM also plans to use PayPal to allow users to make purchases directly from their BlackBerry device.
For the second venture, RIM is in talks with mobile providers to preinstall carrier-customised, on-device application centres in the hope of driving up after-market application downloads.
This would be an expansion of similar deals such as the preinstalling of the popular Facebook application provided by many carriers.
Mike Lazaridis, president of RIM, claimed that the initiative is driven by the growing popularity of BlackBerrys in the consumer market.
"The new application storefront and application centres will further support the growing BlackBerry ecosystem and help [link] consumers with developers and carriers as more and more innovative and interesting applications arrive," he said.
The company has stressed that any corporate policies regarding which apps can be installed will remain in force, preventing users from exploiting the new systems to install unwanted software on business phones.
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