As it gears up to launch its next-gen OS, BlackBerry 10, RIM has made a small but significant change to the branding of its store — dropping the word ‘app’ to turn BlackBerry App World into BlackBerry World. RIM mentioned this change was coming when it discussed the future of the store at the BlackBerry Jam Americas developer event in October, noting then that music and videos would be added to BAW (or BW as it’s now presumably known). RIM has reused its own conference branding for the new store name — but says the BlackBerry World conference will get a new (as yet undisclosed) name.
The BlackBerry-maker is following Google’s lead in ditching the word app from its mobile store. Google’s Android Market evolved into Google Play last year, after Mountain View overhauled the look and feel of the store to put more emphasis on its multimedia content.
RIM has now hung the new sign above the door of its web store. Writing in a blog post, the company said the new branding will also be rolled out to BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook owners in the “coming weeks”.
It described the new BlackBerry World store as a “one-stop shop” for “mobile entertainment” but did not specify who would be providing the music and video content users will be able to download. RIM has previously said “music and video store access may by limited in some regions” — so it looks likely there will be regional supplier variation. We’ve reached out to RIM for clarification and will update this story with any response.
In a bid to boost the number of apps its new platform has at launch — due in Q1 — RIM recently held a port-a-thon to encourage developers to port apps they have built for other mobile platforms to BB10. The event ended with more than 19,000 apps being ported to RIM’s platform, according to its VP of developer relations, Alec Saunders. The total amount of apps at launch is likely to be “about 70,000″, according to RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, speaking in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt.
Despite some inevitable focus on app quantity, Heins also talked up app “quality”, telling the newspaper: “There are studies that say that, for example, of all Android applications, only 50 percent have been downloaded at least once. Of course, you need a certain selection [of apps], corresponding to regional preferences.”