Update of the iClones: BlackBerry App World! Price Tiers! Exce-what?!

So, RIM has made their big App Store -- sorry -- App World announcement and the big news from over on CrackBerry.com is that it will have regulated pricing tiers. What does that mean?

Apple, who is often (and often rightly) accused of being near-fascist in the control they exercise on the App Store still lets developers charge what they want for an App, be it free, $0.99, $2.99, $9,99 or whatever. RIM on the other hand, has created a menu of prices from which developers have to choose. Most surprisingly -- and upsettingly it seems to the CrackBerry Nation -- is that after free, the next cheapest tier is $2.99. Yup, no $0.99 apps for the BlackBerry, fart fueled or otherwise.

So here's the question: is that a Good Thing? Will forcing developers to choose between free and $2.99 make them put more work into making better apps to warrant the higher price point? Will it clear out the shoddy, quicky, apps that glut up Apple's App store? Or will it mean all $0.99 apps just go free and take the ad-supported route?

If Apple decided turn about was fair play and iCloned RIMs apparent ban on $0.99 apps, would that make the App Store better or worse? Would it make you happy, or just [redacted] you off?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Update of the iClones: BlackBerry App World! Price Tiers! Exce-what?!


What a stupid, invasive idea. It seems that RIM knows in advance what volume, level of revenue and profit each developer should expect for their work. There would have been howls of protest had Apple come up with something like this.
Price control. Nice.
As for the name, "App World", it reminds me of a hole in the wall store in my hometown that used to call itself "Carpet World".
Honestly, RIM looks like a company that is floundering around at the moment, copying others ideas and rushing half-baked products to market (Storm), with profit margins under pressure and an OS that has reached and evolutionary dead end.

No way can they botch this. Not after the supreme job they did with the Storm's OS.
Here is the thing. With the LIMITED internal space available on the Storm or any other BB device for that matter, how robust can the apps possibly be? Even in the best case scenario, you have far less than a gig of space and the thing will barely has enough memory to run the native apps, let alone 3rd party.
I don't see how this "App Store" is going to be any better than what's already been there in the numerous places to buy BB apps before. What are they going to design that is going to be any more compelling than BB already has? And much of that doesn't even work well on the Storm because of it's touch interface.
Are developers going to be pumping out apps for the traditional BB devices and ignore the Storm since the Storm, thus far, does not have a stable official firmware release? Or will the apps be "touch" based to allow more versatility? Other than the die hard fanboys on the BB forums, the Storm has been a fail. It could be a success with the right firmware, but that isn't there yet nor is anyone officially commenting on when to expect it.
I don't see how anyone could get excited for 3rd party apps on a device where the native ones don't work well.

It doesn't matter to me what Apple does. I banned $0.99 apps myself when I activated my iPhone. I'm not a junk collector.

Do your hw and research the numbers, fail is the quickfire from AT&T so sorry to burst your bubble but the Storm has not failed.
As a user of a Storm the .109 beta has improved the phone significantly and with the phone beyond .130s in build you can bet a new Official OS will be dropping when the app world comes out or before.
No Iphone user can deny (and since i used a touch) that the vast majority of the apps on the app store are garbage/useless. RIM trying to keep a "business" effect with the phone is trying to weed out the useless, although they still have the free price zone.
Id be willing to pay good money for apps that 1. are excellent and have good use or 2. Games
But before this RIM needs to address storing said apps...the Storm has 1 Gig of Device Memory onboard already (owait Storm haters must have forgotten) accessing Apps from there will solve the issue of the cramped system memory.