LAS VEGAS—Research In Motion (RIM) announced the much-anticipated opening of its BlackBerry App World, coinciding with the kick-off of CTIA Wireless 2009 and a Wednesday morning keynote by RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis.
The Canadian handset manufacturer has been hinting at the opening of the new on-device application store for months now.
BlackBerry App World is available now for BlackBerry smartphones with a trackball or touch-screen running BlackBerry device software 4.2 or higher.
Press release details were limited but included an outline of basic features similar to those offered by Apple’s App Store, the oft-cited model for a successful mobile applications store.
The company’s press release noted that BlackBerry App World will include such features as categorized listings, a listing of top downloads, search, reviews and recommendations.
BlackBerry App World will offer both free and for-purchase applications.
The new store will open with a catalog of about 1,000 applications and will be open to future development from registered developers using the company’s recently released SDK.
In comparison, Apple currently has approved and published about 15,000 applications at its store.
Lazaridis, co-founder of RIM, is expected to elaborate on the announcement in his keynote at CTIA this morning.