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BlackBerry users will be able to download software designed by third parties when Research In Motion launches an application store in March 2009.


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Michael Lazaridis
The move will allow people to customise their devices with software that takes advantage of the internet and GPS capabilities found on many BlackBerry models.

“The new BlackBerry application storefront and BlackBerry application centres will further support the growing BlackBerry ecosystem and help bridge consumers with developers and carriers as more and more innovative and interesting applications arrive,” said RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis.

The store will also allow RIM to compete with Apple Inc., which has enjoyed huge success in selling software applications to its iPhone customers.

RIM says software designers can start submitting their applications for approval at the beginning in December. The company said developers will be able to charge whatever they want for their applications, with RIM taking a 20-per-cent commission on each application downloaded.

RIM also said it is working with PayPal, the online payment system owned by online auction house eBay Inc., on a system that will allow BlackBerry users to make their purchases right on their device.

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