Research In Motion, the maker of the smart phone Blackberry, has extended its application store to India, which includes third party applications by Indian media and entertainment firm such as Hungama, broadcaster CNBC-TV18 and application developer Geodesic.
A factor that affects the success of an app store is its range of applications. Other handset vendors such as Apple and Nokia were able to immediately tie up with Indian developers and media partners to offer India-exclusive applications on their respective application stores but RIM has only managed three. Will Indian users be dismayed by this small-scale, pocket-sized attempt? One wonders if such launches could spark off more independent mobile app sites on the lines of Getjar.com.
We attempted to search for the Indian pricing of applications online at the store – it is unavailable as of now. We have contacted the company to get details of paid applications and their pricing and will update this post soon.
Can we expect moderation in pricing compared to other app stores? Maybe not – the company has chosen to stay in its ivory tower while other handset manufacturers (Nokia with its E63 and HTC, Acer) are lowering price barriers.
Will Anybody Really Use The Store?
Recently, at the Geodesic earnings call, Kiran Kulkarni, MD, Geodesic, had revealed something that suggests (and this is our extrapolation and not Kulkarni’s) the app store might not find many takers. He said, “Fact is that 79% of Blackberry users use only voice in India and not its e-mail features.” So much for its “push e-mail” slogan! RIM might need to come up with new strategy for India and invest largely in advertisements that expound the real value of the handsets and that will encourage users to explore its functions.