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This May Explain RIM’s Difficulties With App World Carrier Billing…

zebbo-price-list Zebbo let us know that they have managed to hammer out deals with the main carriers in the US, Canada, & UK along with many other international countries for carrier billing. Carrier billing means that when you pay for an app it will automatically be deducted from your monthly bill. RIM has been mentioning before DevCon that they plan to add carrier billing to the BlackBerry App World as an alternative to PayPal.

I headed over to Zebbo’s website to get an idea of the commissions carriers and Zebbo would take out of a carrier billing deal and it really blew my mind. I had heard before that carriers charged about 60-70% of the sale while they were slowly going down to more reasonable commission levels.

From Zebbo’s price list it looks like carriers are charging anywhere from 35-45% of the retail price per transaction. For example, on a $1.99 sale Zebbo is charging $0.91 commission. Right now RIM only takes 20% of the sale price to cover fees and incidentals but there is no way it would be able to cover carrier billing.

I never understood the draw of carrier billing but it might be another way for developers to convert free users into customers.

3 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Ain’t that a hoot? Nextel is .36 versus Sprint is .32, on the same .99 charge! THEY’RE THE SAME COMPANY! Oh well. I sorta wonder when I see a company like Zebbo posting such a thing, when someone like a Nextel or a Cingular DOES NOT EVEN EXIST any more as a independent company for several years now, how out of date ARE these people???

    Like you said though, seems it’s not as bad as we might have all thought. I guess I wonder though if Zebbo charges .91 on a 1.99 transaction, how much of that .91 is the carrier share?

    I think it would be nice if there was consistency across the carriers, but as they all have very different business plans/models not sure THAT will ever happen. Only if RIM had the market clout of Apple would there be a chance, and clearly they don’t.

  2. Meh.

    There is nothing wrong with Pay Pal, especially when just about anybody can use it and the service has such a good reputation.

    All Research in Motion (RIM) need to focus on is getting paid applications available in more countries… Until then, BlackBerry App World is just one big waste of time.

  3. Cingulair is at&t. They changed the public name but they are still cimgulair.

    Many sellers don’t like paypal because in a dispute they tend to side with buyers. Except virtual goods in which case they side with the seller.

    Carrier billing is nice because its one less company to give your financial info to. I use pp anyway so it does not bother me.

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