BlackBerry App World 2.1 gets in-app payments

At long last, developers will be able to offer BlackBerry smartphone users a way to buy features in stages from within an app.

BlackBerry maker RIM has announced a change to its BlackBerry App World applications sales front that will gratify both developers and owners of BlackBerry smartphones.

Starting today, BlackBerry App World 2.1 will now let users buy features within an app in stages.

In-app payments already constitute a popular billing model within the smartphone world, particularly among gamers who can purchase access to new levels. Their use lets developers offer apps for free, then gradually up-sell certain features to the user, instead of charging for an entire game or app up front.

A new payment service on RIM's back end is behind the introduction of in-app payments. BlackBerry App World updates will begin today, but not all storefronts will immediately update on all BlackBerry smartphones.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.