More BlackBerry App Store Details Emerge... No Themes!

App Store Details...
By Kevin Michaluk on 18 Feb 2009 03:51 pm EST

I just received the latest BlackBerry Developer newsletter and inside was a link to a new BlackBerry application storefront FAQ that answers many of the questions that have been lingering. You'll want to check out the FAQ for full details, but here are some of the keypoints I found most interesting:

  • NO THEMES - The initial BlackBerry app store will not support the selling of themes. Definitely a bummer to all the theme developers out there. So devs, keep pouring them into our CrackBerry App Store!
  • WEB APPS - You will be able to submit web apps into the app storefront by submitting the launcher (that opens the web browser and takes you to the web page). Looks like will have to sign up now so we can get our CrackBerry launcher in there! Web Signals will also be supported.
  • DEVELOPER FEE STRUCTURE - Developers will have to pay $200 for every 10 apps submitted to the store. The goal here is to absorb some of RIM's costs with approving apps and ensure developers are submitting quality apps. For developers who are selling apps this shouldn't be too big of a deal - my guess is they'll make that back in a jiffy. But what about all the developers who want to submit FREE apps?! Charging a developer to give something away doesn't seem quite right. I'm sure there's more to this... or maybe I'm just not reading something correctly.
  • SUPPORT - It looks like application technical support will all go back to the developer. The reach of the app store will be pretty big, so developers need to make sure their apps are intuitive and bug free... or else they're going to get bogged down in support.
  • PRICING TIERS - The app store will support four currencies at launch - CDN, USD, GBP and EUROS. Pricing will be consistent between currencies, so if you submit an app for sale in USD, RIM will automatically convert the price to the other currencies.

For more info, you can check out the BlackBerry Developer Newsletter, listen to latest Open Mike with Mike Kirkup, visit the Application Storefront FAQ and watch this video that walks you through the developer sign-up process.

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

More BlackBerry App Store Details Emerge... No Themes!


Its great that RIM can copy something that Apple runs great with the exception of a desktop mgr for a mac and bb.

$200 is not a kick in the nuts for small/wannabe devs. I can see it limiting the number of free apps made, but a $.99 app would start making money at.. 315 downloads. (Considering $20 for code signing key, and $200 for this fee)

If you don't think your app will have 315 downloads, it probably shouldn't go in the store anyways.

This $200 thing ruins the app store in my book. I just started making apps for the storm, so far just two free ones, mainly cause of the app store coming. but now i dont even know if i want to. I am not going to pay $200 to release my free apps. That is a kick in the teeth. I could see $200 one time sign up fee, but this sucks. I hope that ATLEAST it wont count for free apps. I am going to pay to rrelease my free apps? I guess they want this app store to fail. maybe they got pressure from somewhere.

Apple's App Store has had more than 500 million downloads and there are more than 15,000 applications. Anyone who bitches about a $200 administrative fee is crazy. ~315 downloads will take a good application no more than 30 minutes to get out of the red and into the green...

Huh? There are people who enjoy releasing FREE software, for the love of it, ie Open Source?
If they have to pay $200 to give away software that *they* enjoy creating I think it will take away a lot of the fun they have.
Yes for business it is fine, but I sure hope for the nice people who like to code for free they drop this silly price.

I do think it's unreasonable for free apps, and I expect the details will change for those. But for paid apps, $200 isn't bad.

All you have to do is charge a dollar for a few apps and then release free ones. So you get the cash back from the payed apps and your free apps can still be around.

A lot of the apps in Apple's App Store have 2 versions, a free version (usually ad-supported) and a paid version for those people who want additional features or no ads. If you make a decent app, people will be willing to pay at least $0.99 for it if not more.

I must be missing something here. So is RIM not taking any portion of the sales, and just charging the $200? I can't find any information on how much of a cut they will be taking on things.

The last I heard, RIM takes 30% of each sale - I'm not familiar with the Apple iPhone store, but I think I heard theirs is the same.

Edit --
My information is a few months old, I'd trust Kevin's number below.

The developer gets 80%. The other 20% goes to RIM, Paypal and partners required to make it all happen. RIM isn't look at this as a revenue/profit stream... more so a valued-added benefit that keeps them competitive.

Was there any info on "how" the payment for apps will be made? Be nice if you could get gift cards like the apple store...

If RIM is taking 20% of each sale why the need for the $200 for every 10? The $200 will be chump change in the long run.

And no themes? WTF? Kevin can you tell us how much of the crackberry store sales volume is themes? I would guess a fairly significant amount of it is themes. Is RIM scared of the sheer volume of themes and verifying they are all good?

I think rim listened to the crackberry podcast and is really worried about people installing lots of apps and filling up their memory and their berry running real bad. look how the guy from rim dodged the question when kevin asked and was like "oh kevin you did 50 apps!" making us all think thats possible. they know its not. so it would appear that instead of fixing the issue and allowing installation on sd cards, they are just going to limit the number of apps in the store by preventing free apps,etc. no dev is going to release free apps for $200 admin fee. if they are taking 20%, no need to charge $200. does apple double charge their dev;s? does android?

I think the reason is different. I think it has to do with licensing issues as well as QA testing. They'll probably push for BPlay on there :(

$200 - good idea! so then the developer of the 100th fart-app will think twice before launching it...!