RIM to Launch Blackberry Application Storefront

So this is what we come to: a three way platform war for domination of our pockets. Who would have suspected Microsoft wouldn’t even be in the game?

This week at the first ever Blackberry Developer Conference, RIM announced the creation of a software marketplace for end users to find and acquire applications for their Blackberry. The Blackberry Application Storefront will go live in March 2009, and developers will be able to submit apps in December. RIM’s move follows the path of the iTunes App Store, launched in June, and the Android Market, launched this week.

The Blackberry Storefront will offer a slightly better cut for developers: 80% to iTunes’ 70%. Android Market isn’t offering for-pay apps until next year. Curious random detail: they announced partnering with PayPal to handle the store’s payment processing.

Speaking of RIM catching up, they also announced improvements to the Blackberry’s web browser. Good thing, as it has a ways to catch up with the Webkit-powered browsers of the iPhone and Android. Say RIM: it is an open source browser engine, you could use it yourself. The whole mobile web on one browser engine? That’s a dream that web developers dare not even dream.