In a move that is sure to displease Google, it appears that Verizon loves its Android phones so much that it wants to launch its own exclusive app store that will be run on Verizon Android-powered phones.
In a letter sent out to developers ahead of its own developer conference to be held Sept. 21 – Sept. 22, Verizon filled in some details about its latest intent to add Android apps to its V CAST App Store. This will be an application marketplace exclusive to the carriers Android phones, and will be restricted to those that are running Android 2.2 Froyo currently which would include he Incredible, Droid 1, Droid 2 and Droid X.
According to Android and Me, the benefits of using the V CAST App Store to developers includes:
- It’s Free – No Testing Fees
- It’s Fast – Our Goal is to place your application in the App Store within 14 days of Submission
- Abbreviated Click-Thru Agreement
- Carrier Billing – Your applications are billed directly to the Customer’s Bill; No credit cards, PayPal, etc.
- 70/30 Revenue Share – 70% Developer / 30% Verizon
- Hands-on, Experienced Content Programming Team – Get the visibility you deserve, not just a quality-crushing algorithm!
- Content Programming and Store continuity across multiple platforms (BlackBerry & Android)
- Integration with Network API’s! Messaging & aGPS
- Detailed submission guides online and forums monitored by our support staff
- Subscription Billing – Coming Soon!
We’re assuming you would still be able to access the official Android Marketplace on the phones also, but we’re going to be really curious to see how Google feels about this move. Yes, Android is supposed to be an open system, but considering that the majority of the current smartphone war is being fought with who has the best apps, it could be that Google won’t be too thrilled to see a fracturing of its developer community.
Can the Big G stop Verizon from doing this? No, not really. Due to the open source nature of Android, the entire ecosystem surrounding the operating system is a bit of a lawless frontier. Manufacturers are doing whatever they want with it from releasing much older versions, to putting it into device form factors it wasn’t designed for.
Everybody wants a piece of the application pie it seems, and while it’s understandable that manufacturers want some control over what goes on its operating systems just to keep it from going completely insane with viruses and so on, is it really a bright idea for the carriers to get in on this also? Yes, Verizon may be the largest carrier in the country, but when you can put resources into building an app for all Android phones, or an app for Android phones on just one carrier, isn’t the smarter thing to do is get as many possible buyers as you can? Just from a business perspective this seems to make more sense to me.
I know that this already exists for some phones such as BlackBerry handsets on the network, but not being a Verizon customer I’m not familiar with how extensive it is. Whatever the case may be, this should be interesting to see how it plays out.
What say you? Is Verizon going too far by jumping into the app game?