Following the launch of Apple's iTunes 9 and its "iTunes LP" functionality, U2 and RIM have announced something rather similar for BlackBerry smartphone owners.

Using the same angle as Apple, the companies say they have "great news for digital music fans who miss the visual experience that came with music albums".

The U2 "Mobile Album" is a new mobile application for BlackBerrys that is said to "invigorate the album experience for the digital age".

Developed in collaboration with U2, whose big budget tour RIM is currently sponsoring, the app offers "evolving content and an interactive dimension" for the band's "No Line On The Horizon" album.

Content includes photos, videos, interviews, news, lyrics and samples of the music, plus links to individual tracks or the complete album that can be purchased online.

A "second phase" of the app is apparently "already in the works", and promises "social networking elements".

The application is now available for free on BlackBerry App World and from