Research In Motion (RIM) appears to be seeing great success in Latin America for its latest App World market store, with approximately half of the region’s mobile operators agreeing to preload the store on the screens of BlackBerry smartphones they sell. App World 2.0 can be downloaded onto any BlackBerry operated by any carrier, but having the icon preinstalled on the main screen makes it easier to access and encourages use, Angel Aldana, RIM’s senior alliance solutions manager for Latin America, told BNamericas.
The company announced last week that App World 2.0 was available in Latin America for paid applications, providing users access to a much broader range of apps. These apps can be purchased using a credit card, PayPal and other pay mechanisms. The BNamericas report noted that RIM is seeking to prioritise applications that have local content, and applications that are seen to have a broad appeal are being translated into Spanish and Portuguese. For example, a fitness application that was popular in the US is being translated. Aldana pointed out that some 30-40 percent of applications downloads in the region are those that allow the user to personalise their phones in some way. For example, flags were popular during the World Cup as are apps that allow the personalisation of incoming calls.
RIM unveiled App World 2.0 last month, with some changes to the previous business model. RIM is set to take a greater share of the revenue for itself, reducing the amount paid to developers. The company is shifting to the 70/30 revenue spilt which has become something of an industry standard, in place of the somewhat more generous 80/20 it had been offering. More positively for developers, the company is set to add support for additional payment options to BlackBerry App World, including credit card and carrier billing, which should make the purchase process easier for customers. Previously BlackBerry App World only supported payment via PayPal, which may not have appealed to potential app buyers who do not already have PayPal accounts. BlackBerry App World 2.0 will also support US$0.99 and $1.99 per app price points, down from the previous minimum of US$2.99, and new sections have been added to the storefront to enable customers to more easily locate products. It also gains support for QR barcodes, to enable customers to locate applications from barcodes included in marketing material.
Only last week RIM said that BlackBerry App World users are downloading more than 1.5 million apps per day on average globally, indicating that the store is out-performing Nokia’s Ovi Store – despite there being a significantly smaller installed base of BlackBerry devices than Nokia terminals, and with RIM being a relatively late entry into the app store game. Earlier this month RIM announced the store had hit the 10,000 apps milestone, and is now available in 65 markets with support for six languages.