Verizon to launch VCast app store in 4th quarter

Verizon to launch VCast app store in 4th quarter
Joining Apple. RIM, Nokia, Microsoft and others, Verizon announced that its VCast application store will launch in the 4th quarter of this year. Speaking  in San Jose at its first ever developers conference, none other than Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam explained the reason for the new open policy that Big Red is seemingly embracing, "It's a new day and our future success is no longer in the walled garden. Our success is tied to you (developers)." And unlike app stores tied to phone manufacturers like RIM and Nokia, or operating systems like Android and Microsoft, Verizon's carrier owned app store will have valuable information on subscribers and their personal data with which developers can create more personal and useful apps.

Currently, Verizon has offered a small number of apps in BREW for its feature phones. Believe it or not, that business generates over $1,000,000,000 dollars a year for Verizon. The carrier's V.P. for marketing, John Stratton, says that the new VCast application store will extend this type of service to smartphones. Stratton went on to say that his firm's store is not meant to compete with other stores like RIM's App World. He said that the goal is to get applications from developers approved and on the network in 14 days. The carrier also wants to use the popularity of its web site, currently one of the top 26 visited sites on the internet, as a place where the 60 million registered users can search for, rate and download applications for their smartphone; customers will be able to pay for their purchases through their monthly Verizon bill.

Verizon's game plan is almost completely opposite AT&T's strategy. The latter gets no payout at all from purchases made on Apple's App Store. The carrier benefits from demand for more iPhones and the $30 monthly data plan that goes with it. Unfortunately, more iPhones sold means more bandwidth needed which means paying for more network upgrades. Instead, Big Red will keep 30% of the funds generated by the VCast app store with the developers keeping the remaining 70%. With Verizon's plan, it will be the device makers like RIM that will get zippo. But the manufacturer's co-CEO Jim Balsillie was on hand for the conference and was non-perturbed saying that the VCast app store will help drive more BlackBerry sales.

source: CNET

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