Idea: BlackBerry World Gift Cards

Ian Hardy

February 17, 2013 2:34pm

BlackBerry’s re-invention is in full swing. We’ve seen the company shed its legacy corporate name and launch a brand new operating system with BlackBerry 10. Canadian carriers have embraced the new smartphone, the BlackBerry Z10, and the launch day set a new record for BlackBerry activations.

Apart from the physical device and the OS, BlackBerry has also created a new BlackBerry World experience, formerly BlackBerry App World, that aims to be a “one-stop shop for all of your mobile entertainment needs.” Going beyond just offering apps – of which there are over 70,000 – BlackBerry has struck up a content deal with major labels and indie players to provide music, TV shows and movies. For Canadians the prices range from $1.29 a song to $12.99 an album. For TV and movie rentals and purchases the prices are currently between $2.49 to $19.99.

BlackBerry has set up their storefront  to compete with iTunes and Google’s Play Store — not as robust in scale, but still giving the option for users to access to great content with the promise of same-day DVD releases and next day availability of TV shows.

BlackBerry users can currently purchase apps and content directly from their smartphones or PlayBook and have it billed to a credit card or charged directly to a carrier bill. Missing is the option of “gifting” an app. This would be the opportune time for BlackBerry to bring this to life.

The only thing remotely close to a gifting feature was announced a couple years back with the “BBM Mobile Gifting Platform.” This, at the time, hinted that BlackBerry subscribers would be able to “instantly gift airtime, apps and other carrier services from one subscriber to another using BBM.” Only a porton of the planned features went live and we saw the option of requesting for and giving apps via BBM. Nothing is currently available for those outside the BBM platform or for those who simply want to give content to a BlackBerry user.

I know it’s probably a massive undertaking, but it’s time. BlackBerry has over 79 million customers around the world and a Gift Card, or truly “gifting an app,” would potentially help grow the BlackBerry World brand, spurring app downloads and developer revenue.

In addition, a “BlackBerry World Gift Card” would be great for marketing, coinciding with its “keep moving” strategy – basically making it easier for people to give or receive the content they desire at anytime. Imagine seeing a physical BlackBerry gift card in various denominations located in your local big box store or carrier kiosk. Apple is in every corner store with an iTunes Gift Card and Google has their Gift Card active in the States (not yet in Canada).

BlackBerry should go this route.


  • Brad F

    blackberry should just keep copying everyone else and dont actually do anything innovative, that will help them in the long run.

  • Avoiding Banning of 3yr Contracts

    Just drop the price of the Z10 to $349 and start selling a few!

    At $499 with Koodo that thing can’ copete with the S3 or N4!

  • Dave

    IMO I think if you have an app store you should offer gifting. Not so crazy about the actual card but virtually yes

  • Steve Coleman

    This would have made Christmas gift buying so much easier the last few years. I don’t have a BB or Playbook but I have family that does. I will be first to buy a fistful of them as soon as they come out. It is a no-brainer.

  • Lucas

    I think that the idea of Blackberry World gift cards would be a great idea because instead of paying by credit card(if you have one) or paying the extra money on your bill you can get paid apps, plus you could give someone a gift card as a gift.

  • Ka-ra-te Master, The Fifth Dan

    perhaps bb should focus on getting actual first-party apps first? you know something desirable for people to actually want? LMAO

    • MikethemaN

      No kidding. I browsed their play/app store on one of those pos phones and its no better than the playbook. Looks different, but same content. And there isn’t a single bb fan/troll that can deny it either. I wish they’d just go out of business soon and liquidate some office space up near the universities so more productive use can be had of the talent that exists there.

  • Happyboy

    If you think Apple has invented gift cards you better think again Retail shops grocery stores and department stores etc. have to get cards just like iTunes so blackberry havering a gift card Is a no-brainer it’s time blackberry get with the times

  • WhichPhonet

    Is this blog became a Advertisement Site for BB ? they find any excuse to talk about BB, feel like the owners are paid to do this :S shame

    • Luc


      When apple releases a new product this and every other tech sites talks about it non stop and nobody complains…. but because it’s about blackberry right now ifans like you are curled up in the fetal position crying about the lack of attention they’re getting.. so funny!

  • andy c

    One of the other selling points of the iTunes gc is that you can redeem almost every loyalty rewards points for a GC ( air miles, credit card rewards etc.) I have never paid for a iOS app, just redeem air miles for the gc’s

  • Stephen C

    BlackBerry gift cards are a great idea (one I recommended a few years back but I think the timing wasn’t as good).

    There’s many young BlackBerry owners out there without a credit card that would love to be able to just use a gift card or get one for a birthday/Christmas.

    As an app developer the ability to gift an app to a reviewer is also a key desire.

    As for @MikethemaN you seem a wee bit hostile towards BlackBerry… I’d honestly suggest letting your guard down for a few minutes and give BB10 an honest whirl. It’s actually got a heck of a lot going for it, more memory that all the phones on the market and a really nice multitasking experience that you might just find you’ll miss on other platforms. I know when I use iOS or android now I wish I could swipe between apps and screens like I can on BB10.

  • Coolheat

    The new z10 is an awesome phone.
    Everyone is going to have one by the end of this year

  • Costa84

    I love the idea of renting a movie through Blackberry World with your Z10, and hooking it up to your tv via a HDMI cable.

    Last night, I had a mkv movie that I copied onto my phone through my wireless network. Went to a friends house, connected it through my HDMI cable, and played the entire movie without charging my Z10 simultaneously. I also love how you can turn off the Z10’s screen without interrupting the playback.

    I’m not a big renter, usual buy my blueray’s and convert the movies to .mkv. Blackberry World is a great way to play the latest movies, atleast.

  • T1MB0T

    Knowing wind they will be for new subscribers only! HA!