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RIM to lower price tiers for BlackBerry apps

As it readies the launch of BlackBerry 10, Research In Motion will decrease the price tiers used by developers, meaning lower prices on apps.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

BlackBerry users should start to see lower prices for mobile apps, thanks to BlackBerry 10.

To push its upcoming mobile OS, Research In Motion is kicking off a new global pricing plan in its BlackBerry World store.

As described in a RIM blog post yesterday, the new pricing tiers used in the store will incorporate currency exchange rates and value-added tax requirements. The idea is to make sure that app prices stay consistent and competitive across the globe.

The new pricing tiers will first reach the U.K. and Europe, affecting the British pound and euro. RIM promises it will roll out updates to other currencies around the world shortly after the initial round.

BlackBerry app developers need not take any action, as the updates will be applied automatically. But they will be able to adjust the pricing tier for their apps in any country.

How does all this benefit BlackBerry app buyers?

As two examples cited by RIM, the lowest pricing tier in the U.K. is currently 1 British pound. After the update, the lowest tier will drop down to 75 pence. Changes to the euro will depend on the country. In France, the lowest tier is now .99 euros, but that will fall to .89 euros after the changes go into effect.

So as the new tiers travel from country to country, lower prices should trickle down to a number of BlackBerry apps.

RIM has been on a tear lately trying to drum up interest in BlackBerry 10 among both developers and consumers.

This month, the company hosted "Portathons," dangling dollars in front of developers to coax them to port their existing apps to BB10.

Last week, RIM released a new version of its BlackBerry Enterprise Service designed to help businesses manage mobile devices running the upcoming OS.

Today, the company announced BlackBerry store partnerships with a string of media companies, according to Reuters.

Walt Disney, Sony Pictures, and Warner Music Group are among those that will provide movies, TV shows, songs, and apps for BB10 devices.

Like many other smartphone makers, RIM has been hurt by intense competition from iPhones and Android devices. The company is betting heavily on its new OS to help it grab back lost market share, though it surely faces an uphill battle.

RIM will release its first BlackBerry 10 smartphones on Wednesday as it hosts launch events around the world to promote the new products.