Research In Motion (RIM) has launched its application store Blackberry App World in the US, the UK and Canada, with more country launches to follow.

Unveiled at CTIA 2009 in Las Vegas, the much-anticipated app store for BlackBerry smartphones will offer a mix of personal and business applications, both free and paid.

RIM will be hoping its platform will be as successful as Apple’s App Store, which has rung up 800 million app downloads since last summer.

The Canadian company expects approximately 1,000 applications to be posted by partners on BlackBerry App World this week.

These include popular brands such as Bloomberg, ClearChannel, Lonely Planet, Gameloft, MTV, The New York Times, and World Mate.

Mike Lazaridis, RIM president and co-CEO, said the BlackBerry platform was used by millions of people.

He said the new app store will enhance that experience by connecting consumers with developers and carriers.

"BlackBerry App World aggregates a wide variety of personal and business apps in a way that makes it very easy for consumers to discover and download the apps that suit them while preserving the appropriate IT architecture and controls required by our enterprise customers," he said.

Among the features on App World are:

  • a "front page carousel" that showcases several applications and lets users browse through featured applications
  • a Top Downloads area that lists the applications most downloaded, by category
  • a keyword search tool for apps
  • user recommendation function – by e-mail, PIN, SMS message, or BlackBerry Messenger
  • My World folder to keep track of downloaded applications

BlackBerry App World is available for BlackBerry smartphones with a trackball or touchscreen running BlackBerry device software 4.2 or higher.

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