Back in January at DevCon Asia, RIM announced the beta SDK for the BlackBerry Payment Service and now today -- they've taken the beta staus away and released v1.5 to all BlackBerry Developers. As noted on the BlackBerry Developers Blog:
The BlackBerry Payment Service SDK 1.5 builds on the existing API from 1.0, so it is designed to allow developers to quickly add subscriptions without having to learn a new API. The new SDK provides APIs to check for the status of a subscription and the ability to cancel subscriptions. BlackBerry Payment Service manages the subscription renewals automatically and sends out renewal reminders and receipts to users. Please note that applications with subscription services will require users to have the recently released BlackBerry App World 3.0 installed on their device.
With these tools now fully available to developers there is benefits to be had for all. Developers can now set up freemium apps where consumers can download the app for free but when it comes to add-ons, those can now be purchased within the app or game itself. Take for example a game, that comes with 5 free levels but if that isn't enough -- you can then purchase 5 more levels for $.99. This allows consumers to try out the offerings with no buy in cost but also allows developers to generate profits from their additional content being provided.