A developer of popular BlackBerry apps, Shane, let me know that he was contacted by RIM with an interesting issue with his apps. According to RIM streaming applications are not permitted for sale in the Middle East. They are removing availability of streaming apps in App World for users in the Middle East for all currently approved apps and new apps.
The list of Middle east countries banned from streaming apps is: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen
I have never heard of such a restriction where streaming apps are not allowed in the Middle East. It makes me wonder if RIM Legal is pulling some CYA or if this is an actual restriction imposed by other stores. RIM flagged Shane’s police scanner apps but it makes me wonder what RIM means by “Streaming Applications.” I wonder if Nobex and other streaming radio apps are included. This is why I think it is a slippery slope for RIM to only allow BlackBerry PlayBook apps through App World. That is an Apple strategy that just helps enforce censorship since everything is centralized.
Let us know if you figure out any more!
Here is the email RIM is sending out:
Dear Mr X,
This email is to inform you that any streaming applications, including police scanners, are not permitted for sale in the Middle East. Please remove the following countries from any future application submissions of this type. The applicable changes are currently being made to the applications as they are approved. Please note this will not happen moving forward.
Also, if we have missed the country restriction on any applicable applications please make the necessary changes or feel free to inform us.
List of Middle East countries:
– Saudi Arabia
– United Arab Emirates
Thank you for your continued interest in BlackBerry App World.
BlackBerry App World Team