Apple made the on device application store popular with the iPhone App Store and we have the Android Market available today with the T-Mobile G1. Nokia has had a Download section on their devices, but it is unrefined and offers different device-specific downloads with a very poor user interface. The BlackBerry Developer Conference is going on this week and the latest press release states that RIM will be launching the application storefront in March 2009 for on-device and on the web locations for managing your 3rd party applications. You can sign up to learn more about the BlackBerry Application StoreFront today.
RIM is working with PayPal for online payment services and has stated that developers will retain 80 percent of the revenue generated from their applications, compared to 70 percent that Apple gives iPhone developers. RIM is also working with carriers for customized on-device storefronts.
Having a good application center on the device itself definitely looks like a winning strategy and I cannot believe that Microsoft has let something this basic slide by them all these years when now they need to catch up to the new players (Apple and Android) and old players (BlackBerry) to stay competitive and fresh.