RIM's BlackBerry is still ahead of Apple's iPhone in market share. But where the iPhone App Store has made anywhere from US$50 million to $100 million so far, BlackBerry's answer -- BlackBerry App World -- has yet to appear as anything more than a Web page to sign up to find out exactly when the apps will arrive.
RIM has said that the store will appear "within the month." Most online news sites have listed March, but have been vague on the specifics. Here is just some of what's been reported:
- Initial reports said that BlackBerry App World would go live on March 4 at 10pm EST
- The news then switched to "sometime in March"
- The latest reports claim "within the month"
- Some news even points to April 1 at the CTIA Wireless conference
The Industry Standard has a prediction (currently at 28% consensus) that App World will be live by March 16. As that date approaches and there's no App World, it's looking likely that the community will be right.
According to a spokesperson from RIM, although the company announced the name of the BlackBerry store on March 4, that was never set as the date for the actual launch of the store. "BlackBerry App World is on track to launch within the next month," she said today.
When companies are this vague about a launch, an obvious reason is they haven't yet settled on a date. However, some companies use vagueness or outright secrecy as a way to build hype -- a tactic Apple has effectively employed for years.
My bet is that RIM knows the App World launch needs to be flawless, and that it's still doing final testing to ensure that the store is perfect before millions of BlackBerry owners try it out.
Melissa Chang (@mchang16) is the president of Pure Incubation, and her blog can be found at www.16thletter.com. Chang writes about The Industry Standard Prediction Market as part of an ongoing series. She's feeling confident that the App World store won't be around until at least the second half of March.
This story, "When Will BlackBerry App World Launch?" was originally published by thestandard.com.