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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Verizon launching separate app store?

This story is part rumor and part fact. First, some background: Verizon already has their own app store on BlackBerry devices, even though BlackBerrys have their own app store provided by RIM. And on September 1, they began accepting submissions for Android apps.

There are lots of details over at Android and Me, but suffice it to say that Verizon is expected to launch their own app market for Android at their developer conference later this month. As with most of Verizon's custom services, many people expect this new V Cast Market to be more prominently placed on new phones than the official Android Market.

Whether that will end up being the case remains to be seen. We'll likely find out soon enough, though. There's always the possibility that it will simply be offered as a way for Verizon to provide their own apps to customers, much the same way T-Mobile phones have a "T-Mobile recommends" section of the official Market. But as Android and Me puts it, "carriers love to flex their power and shape Android in their own image, so anything is possible at this point." [source: Android and Me]

If this ends up being positioned as a replacement for the official Market, then I am wholeheartedly against it. Aside from pure greed, why would Verizon do this? It seems to me like it would only serve to confuse customers. This just seems like a really bad idea all the way around. But I'll try to reserve judgement until we see exactly how it's going to play out.

Yeah, it depends a lot on how it actually turns out. If it's just a more prominently placed section of the market, or something, that would be highly annoying, but not too bad, I guess. But if they try to replace it (like they're doing with search and maps), then...that's messed up.

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