Research In Motion (RIM) has kickstarted the BlackBerry mobile applications portal, App World, in Australia.
The apps distribution service was initially launched in North America and the UK in March but has since funnelled down to other countries.
Prior to App World’s availability in Australia, local users had to access third-party developer or software vendor websites directly to obtain specific BlackBerry apps.
With 140,000 software developers registered with RIM, trying to obtain a number of different apps can be a cumbersome affair.
App World acts as an apps aggregation portal so users can download multiple products from one single outlet. It automatically presents customers with the relevant catalogue of apps suitable for their BlackBerry smartphone model.
According to RIM managing director, Adele Beachley, the new portal enhances the experience for customers and presents business opportunity for the vendor’s partners.
She pointed to the BlackBerry App World’s Facebook fansite, which has 11,610 followers so far, as a testament to the distribution service’s growing popularity.
“Feedback has been incredibly positive,” she said. “If you look at our Facebook fansite, judging from the comments left there, people are extremely happy to have access to BlackBerry App World.”
A front page carousel on the Website showcases features apps and a top download section displays the most popular apps worldwide.
App World currently features free apps only but Beachley indicated RIM’s plans to commercialise the portal further in 2010.
“We’ve launched App World 1.1, that just carries free apps right now. This aligns very well with how we are growing the consumer base,” she said. “Moving forward, we will definitely be looking at paid apps in the future.”
BlackBerry App World can be downloaded directly onto a BlackBerry device through www.blackberry.com/appworld or mobile.blackberry.com.
The URLs can also be accessed via desktop.