RIM’s Cellmania Deal to Help Boost BlackBerry App World, App Distribution
RIM has acquired mobile-app-store management-system provider Cellmania, in a deal that could enhance BlackBerry App World.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
Cellmania, a company that provides a mobile software distribution platform along with various other mobile-app-store services to wireless carriers and others, is now owned by BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM), according to a statement on the recently-acquired company’s website.
Financial details of the deal are not available, but Cellmania seems to have made the news official yesterday when it posted said statement. RIM has not yet issued an official comment on the acquisition.
“Our team has joined RIM’s global organization and will continue to bring our expertise in Application Storefront Development to the BlackBerry platform.”
The Cellmania deal is likely meant to help boost RIM’s BlackBerry App World mobile software store, which is currently accessible in more than 50 countries worldwide and was recently ungraded to version 2.0, with new features like carrier-billing, where available. But it could also be another way to get certain BlackBerry applications pre-loaded, or at least readily accessible, on various wireless carriers’ devices, since Cellmania handles app distribution/billing/DRM/etc. for a number of global wireless service providers. In fact, Cellmania counts AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, as customers, according to CrackBerry.com.
Cellmania’s “mFinder” product is reportedly a content management and distribution system of sorts for mobile software.
The pact could also help RIM offer some of the newest features in BlackBerry App World 2.0, like carrier- and/or credit-card-billing, to additional BlackBerry users, since these features are currently only available to customers of select wireless carriers, including AT&T.
Whatever the desired outcome, the news comes at a time when RIM, which recently launched the BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone, needs to seriously ramp up its app store and related offerings to compete with other mobile application stores, like Apple’s iTunes App Store and the Google Android Market. Both apps stores are thought by many to be superior to BlackBerry App World in a number of ways.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.