With the release of the Blackberry 10 only a week and half away, Research in Motion (RIM) had decided to make a change: from now on, the BlackBerry App World web store will simply be called BlackBerry World, it was announced Monday.
The name change will occur first on the web storefront, and then will be rolled out to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and BlackBerry smartphones in the coming weeks.
That's not all that will be different about RIM's app store, though. In September, at the BlackBerry Jam Americas conference, RIM announced that it would be adding new types on content, including music and videos. This, according to RIM, will make it the "one-stop shop for all of your mobile entertainment needs."
With Blackberry world, users will be able to manage, and pay for, their content using a single BlackBerry ID. RIM also secured brands and media partners including Facebook, foursquare, and Gameloft. Users are allowed to share their content over BBM, Facebook and Twitter, as well tap smartphones together in order to invite other users friends to download the same content.
The dropping of "apps" from the name of its app store is meant to reflect RIM's growing list of media content.
"The naming change reflects a shift in the type of things you can purchase from the store as we transition to BlackBerry 10 and beyond," RIM wrote on Monday.
On top of all that, RIM also hinted that it will be changing the name of its BlackBerry World conference as well, and promises to have more details on that development soon.
Coming off a bad year
RIM had a very rough 2012, and is, in many ways, counting on the Blackberry 10 to keep the company afloat.
In July, RIM shocked many with its horrendous quarterly report. Revenue was down 33% to $2.8 billion in Q1 from $4.2 billion the previous quarter and $4.9 billion in Q1 2012. RIM shipped 7.8 million Blackberry phones and only 260,000 Playbook tablets. The company announced its plans to ax 5,000 employees, and the nail in the coffin: the release of its critical Blackberry 10 smartphones was delayed until early 2013.
After the dismal news, company stock dipped 19% in a single day.
In addition to its financial difficulties, the company also dealt with a pair of lawsuits in 2012.
In July, RIM was ordered to pay mobile-device management software maker Mformation $147 million over patents relating to RIM’s remote management system for wireless devices. That verdict was overturned in August.
Then, in December, RIM was ordered to pay €50 million, or $65 million, to Nokia over a licensing agreement signed by the two companies in 2003, which allowed RIM to use some of Nokia's patents. RIM insisted that Nokia's Wi-Fi patents were a part of the deal, which Nokia disagreed. Nokia sued RIM, and won.
The company, which once had 43% of the smartphone market share, no longer even makes the top five. A report from ad network Chitika in August showed that RIM devices (including the Playbook tablet) have seen a usage drop of 25% a single year. Its devices now only account for 1% of all mobile traffic.
While CEO Thorstein Heins insisted that his company is doing fine, telling reporters, “There’s nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now,” it even came out at one point that RIM was so strapped for cash that it is going to sell its corporate jet just to make $6 million.
The company's stock now stands at $15.84, a far cry from its peak of $143.89 in June 2008.
(Image source: http://blogs.blackberry.com)