Fresh from adding video and music to its BlackBerry World app store last week, RIM has announced new pricing for its content. In a move to be more competitive in the run-up to the BlackBerry 10 launch next week, the Canadian company has cut the minimum cost of apps by up to 25 percent, depending on the currency.
The first wave of changes will affect users in the UK, where the lowest cost will drop from £1.00 to £0.75 (circa $1.58 to $1.19), and Europe, where the price varies between countries, for example, in France it will drop from €0.99 to €0.89 (approximately $1.33 to $1.20). Revised pricing for the US dollar — which has a current minimum of $0.99 — and other currencies will be revealed soon.
The BlackBerry-maker says the changes will benefit consumers, who will be able to buy content at a cheaper price than ever before, as well as developers, who can price their content more appealingly. Previously, a developer would set a cost in US dollars which was then converted into local currencies, but now these prices are being redefined to level out costs across different markets, the company explains in a note on the RIM Developer Blog:
These updates will help to position your content items to be more competitive and attractive to customers in the UK and Eurozone markets. The goal of this adjustment is to ensure prices are in line with currency fluctuations and ensure content within BlackBerry World is competitive.
The new pricing will begin rolling out to owners of all BlackBerry devices. It’s yet another move to focus on apps for the new BlackBerry 10 range of devices, which will be unveiled at a launch event on January 30.
RIM has used Port-A-Thon events — meet ups where developers are encouraged to ‘port’ games and content from other operating systems over to BlackBerry 10 — to bring in more than 100,000 apps submissions for the BlackBerry 10 platform. Indeed, more than 19,000 apps were submitted for review at the most recent event, forcing RIM to extend the deadline for its developer incentive programs due to the backlog.
CEO Thorsten Heins has said that he expects BlackBerry 10 to launch with at least 70,000 apps in BlackBerry World. Now that it has caught up with Google Play and Apple’s App Store with the addition of multimedia, the price cut is an interesting strategy to attract attention from users and developers alike.
Apps have traditionally been a weak point for RIM, but the company is doing all it can to level the playing field with its new devices — but will it be enough?
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