Big surprise here and all, but we hear RIM is actually thinking of crafting an App Store of its own in order to not get lapped by the likes of Apple and Google. Made official today was Research In Motion's plans to introduce a pair of "major distribution initiatives" for BlackBerry applications: the BlackBerry Application Storefront and the BlackBerry Application Center. The former is slated to launch in March 2009 (translation: forever from now), though developers can begin submitting their apps and content beginning in December. Similar to Apple's initiative, RIM will give devs the ability to set prices and retain 80% of all revenue from sales, and it will be giving the rest of the dough to working with PayPal for transactions. Of course, enterprise admins can still maintain control over what apps can be downloaded onto company phones, but you know you can sweet talk the boss into relaxing some of those restrictions. The Application Center is a carrier-customized, on-device tool for providers to host specific programs for customers. Details on deployment (and more importantly, app screening) are all but nil, but considering we've got until March before we can even use the Storefront, we can wait. Angrily.

[Via phonescoop]

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RIM readies BlackBerry Application Storefront and Application Center