As it prepares for one of the biggest launches in company history next week, Research In Motion is making a branding change. RIM on Monday announced it would change the name of its app store from BlackBerry App World to BlackBerry World.
"The naming change reflects a shift in the type of things you can purchase from the store as we transition to BlackBerry 10 and beyond," the company wrote in a blog post. "As we mentioned back at BlackBerry Jam Americas, BlackBerry World will have much more than just apps -- it will now be home to videos and music as well. BlackBerry World is going to be the one-stop shop for all of your mobile entertainment needs."
What's Inside BlackBerry World?
RIM said BlackBerry World offers several ways to browse, download, buy and manage apps using a BlackBerry smartphone, BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, or desktop or laptop computer. RIM also integrated social media features into the store, making it possible to share an interesting app with friends over BBM, Facebook and Twitter. BlackBerry users can also tap smartphones and invite friends to download apps.
Recently, RIM also announced it has implemented integrated carrier billing with more than 50 carriers for BlackBerry World. Integrated carrier billing lets customers purchase apps or digital goods on their BlackBerry smartphone, and have the purchases put directly on their regular monthly bill from their carrier.
RIM will launch BlackBerry 10 on Jan. 30 and promised a large catalog of applications across all categories, including games, productivity, social, lifestyle and leisure, multimedia and published content, as well as applications designed for business and enterprise use. RIM will also unveil the first two BlackBerry 10 smartphones at the event.
BlackBerry World Possibilities
Michael Disabato, managing vice president of Network and Telecom at Gartner, said a dying rose by any name is still losing its petals -- but he doesn't think RIM is dying.
"RIM is becoming consumer irrelevant," Disabato said. "In 10 days, we are going to find out if we are or not. We are going to find out based on what they show us if they have the potential to be consumer relevant."
RIM hopes innovations like BlackBerry Flow and BlackBerry Balance will help its cause. BlackBerry Flow is a new user experience that allows navigation across open applications and the BlackBerry Hub. With BlackBerry Flow, all messages, notifications, feeds, and calendar events come into the BlackBerry Hub. Consumers can peek into the hub with a finger gesture across the screen.
With BlackBerry Balance, personal apps and information are kept separate from work data , and the customer can switch from their personal to work profile with a gesture. The work profile is fully encrypted and secure.
"The name BlackBerry world is cool because then it's all things BlackBerry good or bad, modern or legacy," Disabato said. "They have a chance then to brand this and have people come there to find the hardware and then match the apps to the hardware."