Today marks the fifth anniversary of the BlackBerry World storefront, and we couldn’t be more proud. The team originally set out to build a storefront for BlackBerry smartphones in 2008. We focused on creating a simple experience and our aim was to make purchasing apps as seamless as possible. We also focused on creating a rich and vibrant storefront for our developer community to distribute their apps. Just under a year later, we launched BlackBerry World (then called BlackBerry App World) on April 1, 2009.
At the time, we started with BlackBerry OS, then BlackBerry PlayBook, and last year we launched on BlackBerry 10 with a full catalogue of apps, games, video and music. We continue to expand with new features including user reviews, promo codes, top app lists and more. Today the BlackBerry World storefront is available in 177 countries – serving BlackBerry customers across the globe.
Since the start we have focused on quality – every app goes through a vetting process; that focus is becoming increasingly important today. As we continue to grow our app offering for our customers, BlackBerry World remains the primary source for trusted applications, and the only way for developers to tap into BlackBerry payment services.
We also set out to ensure purchases were simple, especially for emerging markets. This led to our decision to invest aggressively in carrier billing. Today, we are a global leader in this respect – 77 partners in 51 countries around the world offer carrier billing. To celebrate these achievements, we’ve built an infographic to share.
We chose to invest in carrier billing because it is a safe, secure and convenient way for customers to pay for apps, games and digital content on their BlackBerry smartphone. It is the ideal solution to allow people to purchase content for their BlackBerry smartphone and have the transaction automatically captured on their regular carrier bill.
BlackBerry World is available in numerous countries, which have low credit card penetration; carrier billing offers these customers the ability to purchase BlackBerry World content since they have a phone and service plan with their carrier. In addition to making it convenient for customers, integrated carrier billing has proven to drive significant value for the whole mobile ecosystem. Carriers benefit as they participate in the growth of paid content with their payment service capabilities, and developers and content providers benefit with the ability for more people to purchase their products.
Thank you to all of our developers and customers for making our first five years with BlackBerry World so amazing.
*Bonus BlackBerry World Trivia — Did you know that the internal codename for the original BlackBerry App World was Piranha?