Research In Motion has begun soliciting applications for the BlackBerry Application Storefront, which is due to go live in March.
Submissions for applications opened on Monday. RIM announced in October that it would be launching an app store in March of this year, a move that will bring it in line with rivals such as Apple, Google, and Palm, each of whom has or is about to launch their own on-device app stores.
The vendor guidelines listed on RIM's Web site make it explicit that the Canadian handset manufacturer "reserves the right to accept, deny, or remove any application from the Storefront, at any time." However, it is not yet clear precisely how much control RIM intends to exercise over which applications are chosen for listing--the closest points of comparison being the iPhone App Store, over which Apple retains control, and the Android Market, where Google has a notably low barrier to entry.
RIM is working with PayPal on the payment mechanism for the Storefront. Organizations will also be able to roll out applications to BlackBerry-toting workers. Those using BlackBerry Enterprise Server or BlackBerry Professional Software will be able to control which applications their workers are able to download.
Mobile operators will also be able to put their own customized application catalogues on BlackBerry smartphones.
Developers who successfully get their mobile applications into the Storefront will get to keep 80 percent of their revenue, whereas those selling applications for Apple's iPhone or Google's Android handsets get to keep 70 percent of revenue.
David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.