& cplSiteName &

A New Verizon App Store? Say It Ain't So

Sarah Thomas
8/20/2014
100%
0%

When I saw the report that Verizon is planning to launch its own app store, I figured it was an old article. It's gone down this path before… and not successfully either.

Well, it's not old, and it gets more peculiar. Apparently, Verizon Wireless wants to offer its own Android app store alternative, and it plans to do so by creating an "industry coalition." We've been down this path before too! Remember WAC? It's okay if you don't. It failed pretty quickly. (See Wave Goodbye to WAC, Verizon to Launch Enterprise App Stores and Verizon Starts Over With Apps.)

According to a report in The Information (subscription required), Verizon wants the app store to be different -- a place where "developers can take full advantage of specific features of wireless-carrier networks ways of discovering the mobile software they might want." Those might include location, time of day or social network integration. It's reportedly going down this path as a response to decreased revenue-sharing with Google.

The report says the app store would be available globally, which makes me think it's the same app store consortium that was in the works back in 2012. At the time, Light Reading reported that carriers including Verizon, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) were joining forces to create a global app store accessible by all their customers. It was an interesting idea, made more compelling by its global interoperability, but it never came to fruition. (See Vodafone Leads Open Global App-Store Push.)


Want to know more about operators' apps strategies? Check out the mobile services channel here on Light Reading.


Carrier apps are a noble cause and one operators should be working toward by exposing their application programming interfaces (APIs) to developers. But rarely, if ever in the US, at least, has an operator-run app store done well. While the stated intentions are always on target, they typically end up being full of paid-for bloatware that consumers don't necessarily want. And, they're usually preloaded with no option to remove them.

Maybe this time it will be different. Operators are beginning to offer toll-free apps that will need a spot to live on the device, and some, such as Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), are experimenting with offering their own app subscriptions, something that's been popular in Asia. (See More AT&T Toll-Free Data Apps Trickle Out.)

Plus, the global angle certainly makes it more interesting. That said, the fact that it's been talked about for two years with no progress so far doesn't make me optimistic. Carrier API-supported apps are a great idea. Carrier-owned and operated app stores via industry consortium? Not so much.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(11)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
8/22/2014 | 1:37:56 PM
Re: Verizon response
She went and stood in front of the store for pictures when it opened. There's still stores open in Brooklyn, Queens & the Bronx.

I take it you've never been to this part of Flatbush, Dennis? It's hardly hipster town. It's *behind* Barclays Center, along with all the other stores for rent.

Check out the Google Maps street view.

 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2014 | 11:03:47 AM
Re: Verizon response
Yes -- it was clear from the outset that Jenny didn't have the same enthusiasm for her cellphone boutique as, say, George Foreman had for his grill.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2014 | 10:43:53 AM
Re: Verizon response
In a related story, VZ has shuttered another "store" venture, this one involving Jennifer Lopez and a bricks-and-mortar cellphone boutique in Hipsterland USA (fka Brooklyn).
AHavang
50%
50%
AHavang,
User Rank: Blogger
8/21/2014 | 8:58:46 AM
Re: Can they pull it off?
The odds are certainly not in their favour, but they do have a few unique things that could help them (talking APIs here that could be made available to the app developer):

* Knowing the subscriber, his ARPU/service plan, age, adress, device and device history

* Direct access to the billing interface (ie in-app payments go on your phone bill)

* Direct information about the data/voice consumption and caps

* For fixed+mobile operators, you could do something fancy with "call home vpn access" and magically shut the lights of from your car or watch the nannycam with zero rated data.

* Possibly other things.. but not a whole lot.

But none of those APIs are there today, so this new community of operators would have to create that to take advantage of joining forces.

So.. not much of a technical "advantage". Considering the list of disadvantages is probably twice as long, the only thing that remains is price of the apps. Which means they probably have to pay the app developers to contribute free apps for a long time to reach critical mass.

Pretty hopeless. 
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/21/2014 | 4:04:37 AM
Re: Can they pull it off?
I wonder why VZ are going into that direction as operator store model has failed in almost every country where it launched. Even if OP APIs are exposed, this doesnt generate the minimum traffic needed to keep the store alive. The only places where this is seeing momentum is Japan and Korea where the model is different. The store is a content store that litterally sells everything from apps to music to documents to groceries. This also worked in these countries where localized apps cannot be found on the global stores(not the case for VZ).
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/20/2014 | 6:00:49 PM
Location
What can VZ provide that the app can't get directly off the phone ?
alexgiess
50%
50%
alexgiess,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/20/2014 | 5:17:54 PM
Re: Can they pull it off?
Yes. API for identity/location + option of toll-free offered wholesale across international carriers ==> global scale reached to satisfy OEMs, global brands

It will take some time....
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
This year's finalist list includes female founders, CEOs and women deeply entrenched in the technologies that are defining the future of communications.
Take our quick survey about the realities of being a woman in the next-gen communications industry. We want to hear your stories, experiences and impressions.
Learn about five women who are inspiring others through their success, business acumen, outreach and advocacy in the next-gen comms industry.
Meet the 2017 finalists for Women in Comms' second-annual Leading Lights in the categories of Most Inspiring Woman in Comms and Female Tech Pioneer of the Year.
Today is Equal Pay Day, the day the average woman would have to work up to in 2017 to make the same amount men made in 2016.
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
The Urgency of Commercial 5G Services

4|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


The progress of 5G has been closely monitored in the industry. At the 2017 Brooklyn 5G Summit, the sense of urgency for a commercial 5G launch had started to surface among operators.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
How Diversity Helps Comcast Mirror Its Customer Base

4|26|17   |   2:55   |   (0) comments


Diversity brings innovation, creative ideas and a way to reflect the broad spectrum of your customer base, Comcast Director of Customer Experience Jenelle Champlin says.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mobile Operators & Video

4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom, for a discussion of what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Surprise! AT&T Markets 4G Advances as '5G Evolution'
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
Netflix Set to Enter China
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2017
First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.