January 28, 2013
RIM Announces Cheaper Apps Ahead Of BlackBerry 10 Launch
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
With the release of the oft delayed, much anticipated BlackBerry 10 platform, RIM is showing it's ready to jump by making adjustments in advance of this Wednesday's release (Jan. 30). RIM announced a BlackBerry World pricing tier update on its developer blog. The first round of updates will affect apps priced in British Pound (GPB) and Euro (EUR) currencies. Other currencies are expected to follow.
RIM is making this update to adjust the price tiers, making their apps more competitively priced. The price updates include currency exchange rates and VAT requirements, while adjusting prices to include new tiers.
The lowest tier will drop from $1.60 to about $1.10 US (£1.00 to £0.75). While the Euro is used throughout countries within the Euro Zone, tiers will vary by country. One example of the new tiers includes France, where the current lowest tier is $1.35 US (0.99). New pricing tier changes will create a lower tier of $1.19 US (0.89). RIM said it will notify publishers as it continues to make adjustments for price tiers in other countries.
"The goal of this adjustment is to ensure prices are in line with currency fluctuations and ensure content within BlackBerry World is competitive," RIM's Alex Kinsella said, in a post on the Inside BlackBerry Developer Blog.
The new tiers created for BlackBerry App World help set up the shop for the BlackBerry 10 launch, so apps will have competitive pricing. However, the new tiers will also help better position existing apps, which are available to legacy BlackBerry OS, which still has a notable user base.
Price adjustments to the tier will be completely automatic, and will not impact the availability of content listed in BlackBerry World. Software publishers don't need to take any action, RIM advises.
Any publisher who plans to adjust the price tier is free to do within the BlackBerry World vendor portal. Any changes made to the pricing of content items will be subject to a delay of up to 24 hours before the prices appear.
Pricing changes will take effect in BlackBerryWorld, RIM's app store that supports its BlackBerry OS. While some apps will carry over, RIM announced earlier this month that over 15,000 BlackBerry 10 apps were added to App World to ready the platform for launch. RIM has encouraged developers to create apps for the platform in hopes that a large offering will entice consumers to choose a BlackBerry 10 handset over other platforms.
RIM is getting details in order before the launch of BlackBerry 10 on Wednesday by rolling out its BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 last week, ahead of the platform launch.
Most of the major carriers, such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will have BlackBerry 10 handsets in stores later this week when the platform launches.
The BlackBerry 10 launch has been delayed several times, and RIM is walking a slippery slope. If the BlackBerry 10 launch isn't well received, the company will have to consider options including a hardware sale and licensing its software if it wants to remain operational.