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BlackBerry App World forces $3 minimum price

updated 08:15 am EST, Thu March 5, 2009

BBerry App World Limits

RIM's just-unveiled BlackBerry App World will have significantly harsher restrictions on app prices and transfer rights than the iPhone's App Store, according to the developer FAQ. Where Apple allows apps that cost as little as 99 cents, RIM is setting the minimum price for a given app at $2.99. The reason for the difference isn't specified, though the move may be meant to address concerns raised by developers like Twitterrific creator Craig Hockenberry, who have warned that iPhone developers are often stifled by pressure to sell apps at the 99-cent mark.

However, the move also potentially discourages the development of smaller apps for the portal as well as temporary sales meant to spur sales. App World will still allow free apps but, without the 99-cent price point, may have a more difficult time supporting simple games and utilities from commercial developers.

Additionally, RIM specifically forbids downloading or running apps from a BlackBerry's microSD card slot and instead reserves them for internal memory. The restriction ostensibly prevents piracy but also limits the number and size of apps; the most internal storage on a BlackBerry is the Bold's 1GB of flash memory. It also complicates the ability to transfer apps to multiple phones.

In contrast, the iPhone and iPod touch lack removable storage but also have much larger built-in capacities. Apple also uses iTunes to enable apps on multiple devices without requiring additional direct downloads. [via CrackBerry]

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Where Apple allows apps that cost as little as 99 cents,

    Actually, Apple allows apps that cost 0 cents.

    And Twitterific is free for the iPhone. Is that because Apple allows it to be free, or they 'forced' to give it away otherwise they couldn't deal with the pressure of competing with other developers?

  1. stainboy

    Joined: Dec 1969




  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They'll spin this in

    as a win for developers for the BlackBerry App Store and the elimination of small, crappy apps from the BlackBerry platform.

    I'm dying to see what other restrictions start to pop up in the BlackBerry Apps Store as time passes.

    I guess RIM will have to start coming out with models that have larger internal memory. A gigabyte of memory should be enough to run most applications, though.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Actually, the RIM app store allows free apps as well. The only stipulation is that if you are going to charge for it, it has to be over $2.99.

  1. macnews

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It will be nice to see how this plays out. Competition is always nice and if a higher minimum price wins then great. It could also show part of the reason iPhone users BUY more apps than any other mobile device might be in part due to the price.I think Twittelator is a great example of how a developer can win. The free app is great but the pro app is VERY GOOD. It took me a while but I upgraded to the pro version and paid $4.99 for it. While I found the free version of Twitterific nice, it wasn't (in my opinion) worth keeping as free or paying for a pro version.Call me crazy but that is the market at work.

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Well, I've purchased several 99 cent apps on my iPhone. At $2.99, I wouldn't have considered it.

    You have to weigh the volume of sales versus the dollars brought in per sale. It costs next to nothing to distribute an app, so pricing and volume matter. If you sell an app for 99 cents and sell a thousand of them, or you price it at $2.99 and only sell 300, which is a more successful app?

  1. jwargo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    External Memory Limitatio

    How did the author miss that the limitation of not being able to execute applications from external memory is not a limitation of the app store, but a limitation of the BlackBerry platform. RIM has never allowed applications to run off the memory stick, it's just not supported.

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