RIM stirred the pot yesterday when they unveiled the BlackBerry App World (the new renamed Blackberry application store), and details of their pricing plans leaked out. The two most important details:
- RIM has set the pricing tiers for App World, and in the process eliminated $.99 and $1.99 as price points for applications. Blackberry applications sold through the store can be free. However, if they’re charged for, the minimum price is $2.99.
- RIM appears to be negotiating back end revenue shares with vendors of applications that generate revenue through advertising or other means. It’s unclear what the share is, but language in developer contracts suggests that a revenue share is part of the model.
Both are smart moves.
Eliminating $0.99 as a price point is an obvious attempt to eliminate the morass of crap applications that are overwhelming the iPhone App Store. RIM could probably have gone a step further, and set the minimum price point at $4.99. I doubt many would have objected.
As for the back end revenue deals, these are common in many markets. Our Calliflower conference calling application pays affiliates who resell the application a 25% share of monthly revenue. There’s no reason we wouldn’t consider extending the same offer to RIM. Assuming, of course, that RIM fix their browser so that Calliflower conference calls can actually be initiated from a Blackberry.