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7/28/2009
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Eric Ogren
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Verizon Spills Details About The V CAST Apps Store

Today, Verizon Wireless held a developer conference in San Jose. The big news? An app store is coming, and Verizon is working with RIM, Qualcomm, and others to make it happen.

Today, Verizon Wireless held a developer conference in San Jose. The big news? An app store is coming, and Verizon is working with RIM, Qualcomm, and others to make it happen.Verizon has made a flurry of developer-related announcements in the last 24 hours. Today, however, saw the big news from Big Red: the V CAST Apps Store is primed for a fourth quarter launch.

The V CAST Apps Store will offer applications both for feature phones and smartphones. Lest you think that Verizon will be competing with its own business partners, the company reiterated that it doesn't want to compete with RIM's BlackBerry Apps World and Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Marketplace. As if to prove the point, Verizon brought RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie on stage to talk about how the two companies are going to integrate their stores and services.

The basics are this. It won't cost developers to join in Verizon's developer organization, nor will it cost them to submit applications. Verizon believes that the entire process to approve and then sell apps live on the site will be about 14 days. Revenue will be split 70/30, with developers keeping the lion's share of the cash.

Developers who choose to make apps for Verizon's BREW-based feature phones will have direct access to Verizon's billing systems, marketing dollars, and other information such as location APIs. Verizon said it is going to do its best to support BREW developers and said that it will even allow them to offer applications for free to help them gain visibility.

Ryan Hughes, vice president, Business Development and Partner Management for Verizon, noted, "We are focused on providing tools, distribution and monetization capabilities broadly to the development community. It makes great sense as we move along this path that we encourage apps development in a variety of operating systems and programming languages. There's a great opportunity for application developers with Verizon Wireless, whether you're developing for the mass marketplace or business customers, feature phones or smartphones, or all of the above."

Verizon also made some other announcements. It has formed what it calls the Verizon Developer Advisory Board. This entity will involve a number of developers who liaise with Verizon and report back to various developer communities. Verizon calls it "a forum designed to provide valuable feedback about how the VDC and the Verizon applications store are built and will evolve, as well as to foster a productive and innovative developer ecosystem."

All this preceeds what Verizon expects to be a fourth quarter launch for the V CAST Apps Store.

Can it compete with Apple's iPhone Apps Store or the Android Market? Only time will tell, but Verizon is sure throwing a lot of effort at the idea.

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