Earlier today, ‘The Information’ reported that Verizon was trying to start its own app store – once again. Verizon had an app store for years and finally shut it down because no one was using it. The new store was supposed to go beyond just basic apps as they were supposed to be looking to create a proactive experience to rival the Google Play store. ‘The Information’ said: “Verizon also wants to go beyond simply offering apps for download; it aspires to create a service that proactively recommends apps to people based on data like their location, the time of day and what their friends are doing on their phones. That would give the store some of the characteristics of so-called “launcher” or “lockscreen” apps for Android phones that try to anticipate the apps a person might need.”
Verizon spokeswoman Debra Lewis told Re/code, “We have no plans to do that. Been there. Done that.” However, in response, The Information’s reporter, Amir Efrati, tweeted that he and the site “stand by this report 100 percent.” Many a company, Verizon included, has looked at the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store and they see the amount of money that they can generate and figure that they can do that as well. However, the storefronts are not as easy to regulate as one would think – you must first curate apps that customers would want to buy, then you have to categorize them, bill for them, and finally, attract customers. Carriers have an in because they already have a billing relationship and it is easy enough to add the price to their subscribers’ monthly bill.
In countries like China and Russia, these third party app stores have made a go of it because many of the devices do not use Google’s official apps or their store. About the only company that has had any success in mounting their own app store has been Amazon – including apps for their Kindle Fire devices. There is no real competition for the Apple App Store being that Apple leaves little room for alternative apps. As sure as ‘The Information’ is that Verizon is opening up a new store, as reported earlier today, with Verizon’s direct denial that they are not opening a store – I think we will go with Verizon’s big fat NO! Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know if you ever used Verizon’s old app store and what you thought of it…as always, we would love to hear from you.