BlackBerry opens its own app store

Users will buy applications from their handsets

Research In Motion opened its on-device application store, App World, on Wednesday at the CTIA conference in Las Vegas.

BlackBerry users will be able to buy applications directly from their handsets, paying via PayPal.

Research In Motion President and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis showed off a couple of new applications, but most of the details about the store had already been revealed over the past few months.

One application that isn't yet available in the store will be called Primetime2Go and will let users download full length television shows for viewing on the BlackBerry.

The service, expected to become available in early May in the U.S., uses Wi-Fi to download the programs and was built by QuickPlay.

Lazaridis also highlighted a new application from cyclist Lance Armstrong called Livestrong. The fitness application lets users track their meals and activities.

He also showed off a number of music applications, most of which are already available to BlackBerry users. They include a Ticketmaster application that alerts users when tickets they're interested in go on sale and lets them buy tickets from their BlackBerry.

Other music applications come from Shazam, Pandora, Slacker, DipDive and Clear Channel.

While all the applications Lazaridis showed off target consumers, he said that App World will also have enterprise applications, emphasizing that enterprise customers have been adding applications to BlackBerry devices for many years.

RIM first announced plans to launch an application store late last year, following a trend set by Apple with its iPhone App Store.

While device makers like RIM have long fostered developer communities that built apps for devices, Apple popularized the idea of buying applications directly from a handset. Nokia, Microsoft and Palm also have plans to introduce similar application stores.

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Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
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