Verizon's app store stipulations a snub to handset suppliers

When Verizon Wireless launches its app store at year end, the company plans to drive traffic to it by allowing it to be the only out-of-the-box app store pre-loaded on devices sold by the carrier, according to Ryan Hughes, Verizon's vice president of partner management.

In a bid to woo developers to its app store, Verizon is opening itself up to multiple developer communities, but appears to be simultaneously closing itself off to some of its handset partners. If customers want to get Research In Motion's BlackBerry App World or Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile app store, they will have to download them separately. Hughes said in an interview with the blog GigaOM that Verizon is looking to get content from four different developer communities: Google's Android, Palm, RIM's BlackBerry and Windows Mobile.

Developers will be able to build applications for the platform of their choice. However, if they want to access Verizon subscriber data for a customer's location or to bill a customer, they will have to go through an approval process with Verizon and add an API to get the data, Hughes said. He said the app store will be available before the end of the year and that developers will get more details at the Verizon Developer Community Conference July 28 in San Jose, Calif.

However, Verizon does plan to let developers decide how much to charge for apps in its app store, Hughes said. Developers will get a cut of the profits as part of a revenue-sharing agreement, although he declined to provide details. Hughes added that the store would be "competitive, not only with the price, but with the process and the simplicity which developers have come to expect in open ecosystems."

For more:
- see this GigaOM post
- see this PCWorld article

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