How to Submit Your App to BlackBerry App World

Since its inception in 2009, the BlackBerry App World has provided an ever-changing virtual marketplace for app developers and consumers. If you’ve been thinking about developing apps for the popular BlackBerry platform but were unsure of how the submission process works, this tutorial will give you an overview of the steps you need to take to submit your completed app to the BlackBerry App World.

Once your BlackBerry app is developed and tested properly, you can begin the submission process by visiting the Vendor Portal for BlackBerry App World at the following link:

This site is basically your gateway to becoming a BlackBerry app vendor.  To get started, you will first have to create a vendor account.  Unless you have a vendor account, you will not be able to submit apps for publication to the BlackBerry App World.

The first step in the vendor registration process requires you to read over and accept the terms of the vendor agreement.  You will not only have to agree to the terms of the BlackBerry App World, but also Digital River and Bango.  Make sure to scroll through each set of terms, otherwise you will not be able to continue.

The next registration screen will ask you for basic information, such as your email address, name, phone number, and a password.  Fill out all the fields and click Next.

Once your personal contact information is complete, it’s time to enter your company contact information.  Your vendor name is required, as it is what will be displayed when selling your apps.  You can use your company’s actual legal name, or your own legal name if you are not associated with a company.  Other company details required include the street address, phone number, and email address.  Enter the necessary information and click Next.

The third step of the registration process involves PayPal.  You will need a PayPal account of some sort to complete the vendor registration, whether it be a personal, premier, or business account.  The PayPal account will be used to deposit the revenue from your app sales.  If you already have PayPal account, you can simply click on the PayPal logo to log in to your account.  Otherwise, you will have to create an account.

To complete your vendor registration, there’s a $200 administration service fee.  At the time of this writing, the fee was waived for a limited time, so you may be lucky enough to avoid it.  If you do pay the service fee, do not worry, as it’s not completely worthless.  First, if your account registration is rejected, the fee will be refunded.  Second, the fee counts towards your first ten product (app) submissions.  After your first ten submissions are filled, you will have to pay another $200 fee to account for the next set of ten.

As for the accounting of submissions, there are a few rules to keep in mind.  You can submit various versions of the same product for different BlackBerry models and they will count as one submission.  However, if you upgrade your product, that counts as a separate submission, and the same holds true for any products that you re-submit after rejection.

After you have associated your PayPal account with the Vendor Portal, click Next.  Your next step is to wait on an approval email from RIM regarding your vendor account.  Once that confirmation is received, you will also receive instructions on the the whole app submission process.

{mospagebreak title=BlackBerry App World Submission Checklist}

There’s a checklist of the items/information that is necessary when submitting an app to the BlackBerry App World.  You’ll obviously need to pick out an appropriate and attractive name for the app.  It should involve some keywords related to the app and convey its function and the service it provides.  You will need to fit it into a category too.  If you are unsure of where it fits, take a look at some competing apps for a better idea.  A description of the app is necessary to tell consumers what it does and how it can help them. 

You will need to supply a 480 x 480 icon of the app that is in the PNG format.  Screenshots that capture the essence of the app are also necessary.  Try to pick shots that show its main functions and involve a lot of color and lighting.  Obviously, the cod files will be included in your submission package as well.

More formal information that must be supplied concerns the license type, supported OS versions, the various BlackBerry devices that the app will run on, as well as the networks, both selected and restricted.  You also need to submit the version of your app.

As for pricing, you can create a free app or a paid app.  A free version will help your app fall into the hands of more users, but it’s not a bad idea to monetize your work either.  Don’t charge too much for your app, as it will deter buyers.  You also don’t want to charge too little, especially if it is original or provides much value and everyday usability.  There are different pricing tiers, such as $2.99 to $19.99, $19.99 to $99.99, $99.99 to $599.99, and so on.  You can research competing apps to get a good idea on what to charge for your own.  When pricing, make a definitive choice, as you will not be able to change the tier once the app is approved.

After you have reviewed your submission package and sent it in, RIM will test the app to ensure that it passes certain technical standards.  If approved, you will receive confirmation and have the ability to finally make your app available for public consumption.

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