RIM makes the BlackBerry Application Center official

A few weeks back, a sneak peek of a still-in-the-works BlackBerry App Center made its way out. Now RIM’s gone and given it the official treatment by way of press release.

Unfortunately, there’s a bit of bad news right off the bat: While the BlackBerry Storm is expected to launch in November, the BlackBerry App Center won’t debut until March of 2009 – nearly five full months after the device’s release.

Developers won’t have to wait quite as long to get their apps approved, with RIM opening the submission process come December of 2008. Developers can set their own prices via the Application Center Storefront, retaining 80% of the revenue for each sale (Compared to the 70% offered by Apple). While they don’t specify what will be done with the remaining 20%, we assume that it’ll be split between RIM, the carrier, and Paypal (who will be handling the financial parts of the transaction).

That the launch of the App store is so late after the launch of the Storm is absurd. With a number of third-party groups (e.g Handango, BerryStore) already competing in the BlackBerry app-peddling arena, RIM’s going to have to buck for attention on their own platform.