Verizon shuts down its app store - Top Turkeys 2012


Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) launched its V Cast Apps application storefront in March 2010 after a few months' delay. Initially limited to Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry devices Verizon expanded it to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform in September 2010.

V Cast Apps focused on quality over quantity, providing a simple, intuitive customer experience highlighted by direct carrier billing integration. V Cast Apps also stressed rigorous software testing--a far cry from the anything-goes Android Market. In March 2011, a year into the launch of the store, Verizon said there were about 1,000 applications in the store for Android devices and about 1,400 applications for BlackBerry devices. "Those numbers will grow, but we have no aspirations to grow anywhere near 100,000 or 200,000 or 300,000," Todd Murphy, director of Verizon's consumer solutions group, told FierceDeveloper. "That's not the kind of storefront we want to get in front of our customers."

Yet the carrier acknowledged that it was having issues with the app store. Verizon unveiled a revamped V Cast Apps storefront in September 2011, after acknowledging it was having a difficult time processing all of the app submissions. Verizon said it would strive to process and approve app submissions within two weeks.

Then in November 2012 Verizon said it plans to shut down the store starting in January. The company anticipates having its Verizon Apps application remotely removed from all devices by March 27, 2013. The app store was in many ways a throwback to the application portals and stores that were dominant before the advent of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and App Store, and by 2012 its existence had grown superfluous to many subscribers, and evidently to Verizon as well.