BlackBerry paid apps to launch 'later this year'

Ashesh Shah
August 18, 2017

RESEARCH In Motion will finally unveil paid applications on its BlackBerry App World Australia online store “later this year”.

Developers will have their revenue split decreased by 10 per cent, matching Apple’s structure for applications and games sold on iTunes.

Free apps debuted on App World Australia in December and local developers have been waiting with bated breath for the paid version.

But since then RIM executives have consistently said the paid offering would be unveiled “soon”, without revealing further details.

BlackBerry users in 13 countries have been able to buy applications since April 2009 while 42 countries are with the free-only version.

PayPal was the sole payment method but the paid store will also accept credit cards and carrier billing.

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With carrier billing, purchases would appear on the buyer’s telco bill.

Telstra, Optus and other local telcos are in talks with RIM to provide carrier billing services, said Tyler Lessard, RIM global alliances and developer relations vice-president.

“We’re talking to all our carrier partners in Australia for paid apps,” Mr Lessard said during RIM’s Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) in Orlando, Florida.

He refused to say more when pressed for a specific month or quarter, but said paid apps would be available “later this year”.

RIM would still proceed to launch with PayPal and credit card billing if telcos don’t come to the party in time, he said.

The current revenue split of 80:20 will change to 70:30 later this year.

The move will help RIM expand App World’s payment options and enter new markets.

“This changed about a week ago and we’ve briefed our developers,” Mr Lessard said.

BigTinCan CEO David Keane welcomed the move despite the 10 per cent cut.

“It takes the headache out of billing for developers … this is a pretty fair move,” Mr Keane said.

The Sydney-based mobile application development firm already has several apps for sale on the US App World site such as BuzzMe.


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