The company that manages BlackBerry brand licensing and software called BlackBerry Limited, started today to inform a few app developers that it will forcibly remove paid software from the BlackBerry World app store on the 1st of April, 2018. According to BlackBerry, the marketplace will become a “free-only storefront,” it also stated that “all purchasing mechanisms will be disabled.”
Still on that note, the company says that apps can still be monetized but that the payments backends must be supported by the developer and also must be built into the app itself. Our sources say that according to the address from Blackberry, there will be support provided for refunds for paid content even after it has been removed. Moreover, if a developer decides not to convert an app from paid to free, the company will have the app removed by the 31st of March.
In effect, Blackberry is announcing the shutdown of Blackberry World. According to a note on Twitter from developer Steve Troughton-Smith in which he posted a notice from the company and which he described as the final “nail in the coffin” for BB10, the final custom mobile operating system of Blackberry Limited before it was converted to Android in 2015.
As at December last year, Blackberry had promised at the very least two years of support for the BB10, with the Blackberry World scheduled to be officially shut down on the 31st of December, 2019. When Blackberry was reached for comment, a representative of Blackberry directed one of our sources to a blog post from the company last December which said, “Customers who upgrade to a new KeyOne or Motion won’t miss a beat as they’ll have immediate access to the rich universe of apps in the Google Play store without compromising on either security or their desire for a physical keyboard.”