RIM Acquires Cellmania in Attempt to Salvage BlackBerry App World


Though BlackBerry’s new Torch may not be the colossal flop it was thought to be, the phone still hasn’t taken off the way RIM may have expected it would. That’s due in large part to BlackBerry’s difficulty in adapting to a post-iPhone world. One of the most glaring examples of BlackBerry’s inability to compete effectively with the new crop of touchscreen, consumer-focused smartphones lies in the app store.

Apple’s App Store revolutionized mobile software distribution back in 2008. Every mobile platform since has had some variation. Google’s Android Market is growing incredibly quickly, though many would argue that the base quality of the apps is inferior to Apple’s offerings (myself included, and I’m an Android user). Palm’s WebOS has its own tiny App Catalog, with high-quality but low-quantity apps.

BlackBerry has App World, but App World is a messy conglomeration of apps without a thoughtful layout, acting more as a central repository of apps that can be found elsewhere than the official BlackBerry app store. It needs help, and RIM, BlackBerry’s parent company, knows it.

Hence today’s acquisition of Cellmania, a California-based company that builds app store infrastructures used by carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile to deliver their proprietary software. Details are not forthcoming; RIM has not let us know its plans for the future of App World. But it’s good to see the company getting help in this area–it sorely needs it if it wants the followup to the Torch to be a true smash hit.

[Image credit: Gizmodo]

Dan Nosowitz, the author of this post, can be followed on Twitter, corresponded with via email, and stalked in Brooklyn (no link for that one–you’ll have to do the legwork yourself).DN