RIM to introduce new developer tools, payment options in App World

The Waterloo-based maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM), is readying the launch of various tools targeted towards application developers that will make it easier for programmers to create applications for the BlackBerry platform, according to a person familiar.

RIM will release new software development kits (SDKs) with new features to developers that would add new features for developers to utilize in their apps.

The company is also readying the launch of a new payment system for its App World application store that will make it easier for consumers to pay for premium apps without requiring a PayPal account. The charges would simply be billed directly to your monthly bill.

 RIM is banking on the seamless transaction process to help fuel sales, in turn driving more developers to begin developing for the BlackBerry platform that currently only has just over 10,000 applications to choose from, compared to more than 90,000 found on Android, and more than 250,000 found in Apple’s App Store.

In the last couple of years, software firms have opted to exclusively devote their energy towards more versatile operating systems, like Apple’s iOS App Store, and more recently, Google’s Marketplace, simply because they’re more popular and profitable.

RIM’s dominant position in the smartphone market is quickly eroding, as consumers, and even businesses, make the switch to other platforms that offer more customization, a variety of advanced applications, and an overall better user experience.

RIM recently introduced its new tablet computer, the BlackBerry PlayBook, which is slated for a first quarter 2011 launch.

The BlackBerry PlayBook is powered by RIM’s new QNX operating system (which is recently acquired), which offers a better user experience, is more stable and efficient, and comes enterprise ready with more advanced media capabilities consumers favor.

RIM is expected to transition the QNX operating system to BlackBerry smartphones by the end of the next year in an attempt to offer a comparable (and possibly an exceeding) user experience to that of emerging operating systems like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform.

The RIM stock (NASDAQ:RIMM) is trading nearly on par from its opening price at $48.80 per share in early morning trading. The stock has lost a significant amount of its value over the last 7 months, when it was trading closer to $75 per share.

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Ramy holds a Bachelor in Health Studies with honors in Health Management from York University in Toronto, Canada. He just returned to Toronto following a career opportunity teaching English in South Korea. Write to [email protected]
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