Blackberry App World Launch - Three Big Question Marks


blackberry_logo__black Three interesting notes from the Blackberry App World FAQ / developer announcement that was released.

Minimum Price of $2.99?

The iPhone has proven that there are pricepoints for three types of apps: 1. Free (ad-supported) 2. $0.99 (consumers consider it the price of an iTunes song or a McDonald's hamburger) 3. $9.99 (high quality games by brands like EA)

Blackberry is instituting a minimum price of $2.99 for paid apps. Fascinating. My guess is that this has something to do with the fact that: 1. Apple has perfected micro-payments (thanks to iTunes); Blackberry hasn't and the margins on a single $0.99 purchase are far worse than on a $2.99 2. Blackberry wants to focus on more corporate applications and avoid the consumer-friendly inventory that runs $0.99 on Apple (I believe this is a bad move)

As I said, fascinating. And, if the $2.99 price point limits distribution (and it will), it could sway developers to offer free apps.... which would have an unintended consequence for Blackberry: those free apps will be ad-supported and Blackberry will not get a cut of that revenue.

How can I price my application? BlackBerry App World will allow you to select a suggested retail price in US dollars for your application that is associated with a pricing tier. The pricing tier chart below shows the application price for the 4 currencies available: USD, CDN, GBP, and Euros. Pricing Tiers Tiers USD CDN GBP EUR 1 Free Free Free Free 2 $2.99 $3.69 £2.59 €2.75 3 $3.99 $4.89 £3.45 €3.65 4 $4.99 $6.15 £4.29 €4.55 5 $5.99 $7.35 £5.15 €5.49 6 $6.99 $8.59 £5.99 €6.39 7 $7.99 $9.79 £6.85 €7.29 8 $8.99 $11.05 £7.69 €8.19 9 $9.99 $12.25 £8.55 €9.09 Tiers increment by $1 from $2.99 to $19.99 Tiers increment by $10 tiers from $19.99 to $99.99 Tiers increment by $50 tiers from $99.99 to $599.99 Tiers increment by $100 tiers from $599.99 to $999.99

Please note that pricing tiers are subject to change.

2. $200 Application Fee; 10 App Limit

Right off the bat, Blackberry is being far more aggressive than Apple ($200 vs. $99). Perhaps because they believe that Blackberry will attract fewer individual developers and draw a more corporate following. Perhaps because they believe that, in hindsight, Apple could have charged more and gotten away with it.

Furthermore, Blackberry limits the number of apps that fee covers to ten.

I think that Blackberry should do whatever they can to chase inventory... after all, Apple has an enormous lead in this space and playing catch up is already difficult (just ask Android). Charging more than Apple and limiting applications per account does just that: limit available applications. Not wise.

What is the application submission fee used for?

There is a $200 USD administration fee to complete registration and submit applications. In the event your account is not approved, this $200 USD administration fee will be refunded.

This initial fee will allow for 10 application submissions:

Multiple versions of the same application will not count as separate submissions (Example: an application might have a version for the BlackBerry Storm smartphone and the BlackBerry Bold smartphone)

An update to your application, resulting in a submission of new cod files, will be counted against your 10 application submissions Resubmission of a rejected application will be counted against your 10 application submissions

Removal of an application will not affect your remaining balance of application submissions

If you have used all 10 application submissions, an additional $200 USD administration fee will be applied on your next submission, adding another 10 application submissions to your account

3. Themes Cannot Be Sold

I find it strange that there is a specific note to prohibit the selling of themes because: 1. Themes already have a marketplace on Blackberries and, while note applications, would be in high demand 2. The specific call-out suggests that Blackberry intends to open a tangential marketplace of themes

Can I distribute Themes? Themes cannot be distributed in the first release of BlackBerry App World.