RIM preps New Zealand BlackBerry app store

Developer workshops hosted here last month

Research In Motion, the maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, is claiming success with two developer workshops it held in New Zealand in May.

The company, which says it is keen to see local content in any New Zealand version of its application store, BlackBerry App World, now has 140,000 registered developers worldwide, according to Oceania director Adele Beachley.

Beachley, at an event in Auckland yesterday, used local companies such as Kinross Group, TVNZ and ANZ as examples of local enterprises developing for the BlackBerry platform.

Kinross Group, she says, has developed an application for the transfer of corporate data, the AMS Mobile Platform.

Beachley says a data has not been set for a launch of BlackBerry App World. She says the company is doing due diligence to get the local offering right.

RIM's ANZ carrier manager Darryl Prince says the developer workshops were run in Auckland and Wellington and featured companies such as Fronde, Fusion 5, One Net and TeIQ, Sugar CRM's New Zealand partner.

He says most skilled Java developers can build for the BlackBerry.

RIM launched BlackBerry App World in April at the CTIA Wireless show in Las Vegas. Officials said it would initially offer some 1,000 free and paid applications.

Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis unveiled the new online store in a keynote at the conference showing off applications designed to help travelers and consumers use a variety multimedia applications.

Lazaridis noted that BlackBerry users have been able to download applications over-the-air for years but not in a centralised fashion. The company in February said it was moving to centralise the practice by following in the footsteps of rivals Apple and Microsoft.

Apple offers applications for its iPhone devices through its Apple App Store, and Microsoft plans to open its Windows Mobile Marketplace later this year.

Lazaridis focused much of his keynote on describing multimedia applications targeted at consumers, such as Primetime2Go, which downloads television shows to mobile devices for on-demand viewing. He also listed a number of music applications and social networks that will be available from the online store.

— Additional reporting by Matt Hamblen

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Tags RIMBlackberryresearch in motiondevelopersApp WorldSugar CRMteiqNetworking & Telecomms IDone netkinross group

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