After taking two months to ready their back-end and a short beta, RIM has rolled out BlackBerry App World 2.1, complete with in-app purchase support. This is good news for both developers and end-users, as they’ll be able to buy or sell a whole new category of software, and offer a feature comparable to the iPhone App Store. With the new feature, you’ll be able to get new kinds of content for your existing apps, like books for an e-book reader, levels for a game, or any number of unlockable features.
This feature is arriving just in time for the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook, which will need all of the app support it can get to compete with the slew of Android tablets coming down the pipe. RIM first started talking about the feature back in November of 2009, so it’s certainly taken awhile to get it out the door. Still, I trust that they’ll be a little more open than Apple is about the different kinds of ways developers can sell their in-app content. The last big update to App World introduced QR barcode recognition, carrier billing, and a new BlackBerry ID system which carries over to a few other services.
Developers interested in getting started with the BlackBerry Payment Service for in-app purchases, you can find more info at RIM’s landing page here. As for end-users, the on-device App World should be updating at some point today.