Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wishing the best of luck for BlackBerry’s own “App Store”

Before we get down and dirty into the main issue, few of you might be wondering why I still calling Research In Motion’s (RIM) new application store as BlackBerry “App Store”, instead of the previously known as App Center (complete with leaked screenshots).

In fact, RIM now calls it as BlackBerry Storefront. RIM co-founder and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis himself announced it, at the first Blackberry Developers Conference before the 700 registered developers.

So, not until the so called BlackBerry Storefront is out & running; I’m sticking with the famously known name that’s pioneered by Apple: App Store. Why? Well, it’s like the iPhone-ghost that every mobile manufacturer is chasing to beat it. So is Apple’s App Store, Android is trying to topple it down with Market, while RIM is trying to catch up too.

Too late, bad timing?

Everybody is saying that RIM is taking its time to make the BlackBerry application store to mature and ready for grand opening, but at the same time this act of conduct creates a bigger gap for RIM to jump over in order to catch on Apple’s App Store.

Not to mention, Google’s Android is already shipping its first handset; the T-Mobile’s G1, and already started the Market up and running. Although the Market is currently only offering limited & free apps, we know it’ll soon grow numbers as time fly by.

But most importantly, the BlackBerry applications store won’t launch until March 2009 as revealed at the recent BlackBerry Developer Conference. This could indeed fires back at RIM, and hurt the intended BlackBerry handset sales which is equipped with the application store link in it.

RIM said to be concentrating BlackBerry application store for consumers (not businesses), with applications such as AOL, Facebook, MySpace, Gmail, Hotmail and Flickr. "The introduction of more consumer-friendly features in Blackberry smartphones has clearly helped generate a groundswell of interest with new developers that has already resulted in the introduction of thousands of consumer and lifestyle oriented applications for BlackBerry smartphones," Lazaridis said.

Different company, different policy; but which way?

While Apple is asking 30% share of every app sold in its App Store, and Google claims not to ask for revenue when the Market is launched; RIM is demanding 20% share of every sale made.

RIM is currently working with PayPal to integrate its payment system into the store as well as with its carrier partners to provide an alternative to the online store.

If the revenue policy is set, RIM has yet to make up its mind on how to screen the apps that want to get inside its application store. Apple is using iron grip policy for its App Store, while Google promotes openness for its Android’s Market screening policy. We all have our own pros and cons, when comparing those two policies. Both have their own advantages and drawbacks too, none is perfect… yet.

But there’s a shed of light on where RIM is taking the BlackBerry application store, RIM requires developers to adhere to four basic principles of Blackberry development: Bandwidth, capacity, performance and battery life. For example, if developers push for high broadband speeds, the capacity drops. The restrictions don’t stop there, for organizations that have deployed BlackBerry Enterprise Server or BlackBerry Professional Software will retain control of what applications can be downloaded to BlackBerry smartphones within their corporate deployments.

With so many curbs to follow, the personal users might not as pleased as enterprise/corporate users; and the most pleased and the one who got the most benefit from those kinda restrictions is network/IT administrators.

How about the new trend: ‘kill switch’?

Apple halfheartedly admitted the ‘kill switch’ capability in its new iPhone 3G or iPhone 2.0, and Google officially disclosed the feature in its Android platform. RIM is likely to follow suit with the same feature.

It comes natural when the reason is feared and shared by all of them; like Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates told TG Daily in an email interview: "How will they get sorted out in the application store? Bad applications could easily take down a phone, which could be deadly in such a personal form factor."

But it is too soon to tell, whether the horror will come true or not. Till now, we haven’t heard any complaint from App Store users about that kinda attack from bad apps. So all we can do right now, is hope for the best of luck for all of them (and us too).

Sources are from:

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

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