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According to an article published in BusinessWeek, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis is expected to launch the BlackBerry App World during his CTIA keynote in Las Vegas on April 1st.  Thanks to the wide-reaching success of Apple's App Store, RIM, Nokia, Microsoft, and others are quickly catching on to what could easily become a profitable segment of their business model.  RIM is no stranger to the application front having worked with software developers since 2002, however this will mark the first time that all programs are available in one centralized location.

In the growing battle to launch application storefronts, App World will feature downloadable programs starting at $2.99 - pricier than Apple's .99 entry level, but also high enough to dissuade programmers from creating useless applications.  They're also fighting for developers; RIM is taking a 20 percent cut of the software sales, whereas Apple requires 30 percent in order to list in their App Store.  "There's going to be a significant counter-­challenge to Apple," said Mike McGuire, an analyst with Gartner."

Regardless, RIM has a challenge before them, as Apple's App Store offers 25,000 software programs of all shapes and sizes.  The average iPhone owner has downloaded 20 applications - significantly higher than on any other device.  In order for RIM to compete, they must make the experience as smooth as Apple's operation, according to Mark Woolen, an Oracle vice-president.  "It's just very, very elegant," he said.


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