Research in Motion (RIM) announced that it will provide a new mobile gifting platform to carriers that will integrate BlackBerry App World and carrier billing systems to allow BlackBerry users to instantaneously gift apps, airtime and other services from one subscriber to another. The announcement was made at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain.
The gifting platform will allow gifting request and approval handling through the BlackBerry messenger. It will also allow carriers to easily sell its services to prepaid users.
“RIM is committed to aligning with carrier business models to deliver innovative and relevant mobile commerce solutions,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at RIM.
“There will be many usage scenarios and circumstances that can be accommodated through the BBM mobile gifting platform around the world, but the easiest for many people to readily envision and appreciate is the simplified act of a parent approving their child’s request for additional airtime minutes or an app purchase with a single click using BBM” he added.
The platform will also help BlackBerry developers as it would encourage gifting of apps between subscribers thereby boosting app downloads.
Research In Motion (RIM) has announced that it will be making a lead commitment of to US$150 million in BlackBerry Partners Fund II, a new independent venture capital fund dedicated exclusively on mobile computing. The fund is expected to be launched in June, 2011 and will have a wider global mandate than the first Fund.
In a press release issued by the company, Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion said”We are very pleased with the positive impact of the first Fund on our mobile ecosystem and we look forward to BlackBerry Partners Fund II bringing additional resources and support to mobile innovators in a broader range of international markets”.
“We are very fortunate to have RIM as an anchor investor and partner in our Fund and greatly anticipate expanding our reach and the geographical scope of Fund II,” said John Albright, Co-Managing Partner of BlackBerry Partners Fund.
BlackBerry Partners Fund was first launched in 2008 with collaboration from Research In Motion, Thomson Reuters, Royal Bank of Canada and many other high profile investors. The Fund has since made 13 investments in mobile start-ups across the world. Companies working in the mobile ecosystem including Blackberry developers can benefit from this fund.
Research In Motion (RIM) has announced that the Blackberry App World, official application store for BlackBerry phones, that was initially closed to users in Nigeria has now been launched. BlackBerry owners in Nigeria can now download apps on their phones with any internationally recognized smartcard.
Most of mobile applications stores are usually closed for mobile users in Africa as these regions are not considered as major markets. However, with tough competition in major markets and growing popularity of smartphones in African countries has led to shift in strategies of app stores. The launch of Blackberry App World in Nigeria therefore is an important major milestone in the process of providing better access to mobile content for users in these regions.
Speaking at the Mobile Web West Africa conference in Lagos, Deon Liebenberg, RIM Managing Director for Africa said: “We are very pleased to offer this experience to our customers in Nigeria, which we see as a very exciting market going forward.”
Research in Motion (RIM) will be holding a BlackBerry Developer Day at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.This 1-day event will be held on Tuesday, February 15th, as a part of the MWC App Planet Application Developer Conferences.
The event is held to update BlackBerry application developers on the latest information on the BlackBerry development platform,specifically on monetizing apps on BlackBerry App World and integrate it with the BBM Social Platform. RIM will also be hosting many hands-on-labs for BlackBerry app developers covering BlackBerry WebWorks and Adobe AIR development on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
There is also a special event named AppCircus Spotlight which will provide BlackBerry developers with a unique opportunity to showcase their apps and win a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet!
It seems after the mobile operating system race, the next battle ground for smartphone players is going to be the app market. With studies predicting massive upsurge in the market in future, all key players have embarked on getting the attention of developers by offering them attractive revenue models. One of the major players in the smartphone market, Research in Motion too has started making efforts to lure mobile application developers into developing apps for Blackberry. Recently, RIM announced an app store update Blackberry App World 2.1 that will provide an in-app revenue source for the app makers.
The Blackberry Payment Service allows app developers new ways to monetize their apps by leveraging a variety of business models through the sale of goods within their apps. The Payment Service SDK v1.0 can be easily integrated into an app as a library. This will allow Blackberry app developers decide the point of purchase experience for the user. The app must be distributed through the BlackBerry App World storefront for it to be enabled with this service. The payment service will work on the same revenue-model available with the RIM’s app world.
Recent studies have shown that in-app purchases are going to be the key revenue source for developers. Customers would be able to download the apps for free but have to pay to access more features within the application.
The app market is getting fiercely competitive and all major players are battling hard to grab developer’s attention. The latest move by Blackberry and earlier adopted by Apple and Google reveals that all major players are seeing in-app sales as an important revenue source in the future.