Potentially lost among the Lazaridis’ statements about netbooks in CNET Asia’s RIM interview are a few important morsels about the BlackBerry Application Center, something we haven’t heard much about since it was officially announced at the BlackBerry Developer Conference. Below, you’ll find what Tyler Lessard, Director, ISV Alliances & Dev. Relations had to say.
Lessard: First of all, we have a strong developer community for many years. We’re looking to build on that and of course take advantage of all the applications that exist today and give them a central spot to be distributed. We think we’ll have a very broad breadth of applications that represent everything from games for the consumer to business productivity-type applications that cater to business professionals. Our focus is to make it a really effective channel for the developers. There are a few important things that we want to make sure we do. One is that the storefront is being designed from ground up for mobile software distribution. We are ensuring that developers will be able to submit applications and upgrades when they need to and letting users set up custom profiles so they can be alerted when new types of applications are posted.
We want to make sure we support free applications, paid applications and also monthly subscription billing or try-and-buy models. Those are things some other vendors have not been able to do because their stores weren’t designed for software necessarily. At the end of it, we want to support the broadest types of applications, different types of billing models and operate a very effective wireless channel for downloading of applications whether it’s via a cellular network or Wi-Fi.
Wireless operators can also offer their own customization to that storefront experience. So this won’t be the only place you can get applications for BlackBerry. If a wireless operator chooses to have a separate store where they highlight applications they want to sell because, for example, they have billing integration with those vendors, or it’s an exclusive application that’s available only on that operator, we want to make sure they can offer those separate applications and customize the storefront experience. We see the application store as a very important distribution mechanism, but it won’t be the only place. We’ll continue to let developers distribute directly as well.