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RIM takes on Apple with BlackBerry App World

Users can now download applications directly to their BlackBerry.

RIM has launched its own applications store.

Research in Motion (RIM), has finally returned fire in the direction of Apple's App Store by launching its own application download service .

Dubbed BlackBerry App World, it will enable users to select from a wide range of applications all downloadable directly to their devices.

BlackBerry fans in the UK, US and Canada are the first to get their hands' on App World, which will offer both business and personal applications including offerings from Bloomberg, Lonely Planet, MTV and salesforce.com. Other country launches are to follow, according to RIM.

Users will be able to find the applications they want by searching using keywords or by browsing through categories and top downloads so they can see what everyone else is downloading in addition to the front page which will showcase a selection of featured applications. Users will also be able to review and recommend applications to others too.

"The BlackBerry platform provides a truly unparalleled mobile experience for millions of people and we are thrilled today to enhance that experience with a new app store that helps connect consumers with developers and carriers," said the company's president and co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis, in a statement.

"BlackBerry App World aggregates a wide variety of personal and business apps in a way that makes it very easy for consumers to discover and download the apps that suit them while preserving the appropriate IT architecture and controls required by our enterprise customers."

This week alone, RIM is anticipating that around 1,000 applications will be made available through App World. Some applications will be free, while others will be charged for.

To access App World, users must have a BlackBerry device with a track ball or touch screen that is running version 4.2 or higher software.

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