RIM store will turn away some BlackBerry apps

Handset maker will be relaxed about the types of applications it will allow developers to offer in its upcoming storefront, but warns it will clamp down on bandwidth hogs.

Research In Motion will not be as tough a gatekeeper as Apple in admitting applications to its storefront, but it will reject BlackBerry apps it thinks use too much network bandwidth, the company's developer relations chief has told ZDNet UK.

Mike Kirkup said on Thursday that the Canadian handset manufacturer will welcome third-party software that replicates the functionality of native BlackBerry applications onto the BlackBerry Application Storefront--a strategy that is not followed by Apple with its iPhone App Store . However, certain types of applications, such as those offering streaming video, might be turned down.

"If somebody builds a better calendar app than the one that's natively on the device, we don't have a problem with that, and they are welcome to sell it through existing channels," Kirkup said in an interview with CNET News sister site ZDNet UK. "However, we want to make sure no-one is violating any agreements, and their applications don't use excessive network bandwidth or lewd content."

Kirkup said the bandwidth policy might differ across different mobile operators. "We are definitely going to be sensitive to people moving a significant amount of traffic over the carrier's network without an agreement with the carrier," he said, identifying streaming video and audio as possible sticking points.

Applications sold through the BlackBerry Application Storefront, which is due to go live in March, will work on any BlackBerry smartphone that has a trackball or touch interface, Kirkup said. He added that a rating system was being developed to make it easier for users to judge the quality of applications being sold through the store.

RIM opened up the submissions process for Storefront applications on Monday.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.

 

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