& 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....
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
In honor of Valentine's Day, WiC is highlighting five of the sites, companies, products, commercials and more related to women at work that we're digging this month.
Biases from computer programs will seep into the algorithms behind AI, meaning computers of the future could be just as homogenous as today's tech workforce.
Female-only co-working spaces are popping up all over the place, but is cutting men out the best way to level the playing field in the tech industry?
A handy rundown of the myriad terms used to describe the challenging circumstances surrounding women in comms, many involving glass.
Making recruiters solely responsible for increasing diversity is not effective when there isn't internal buy in, Facebook's struggles to diversify show.
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, 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
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Is the Time Right for a Cisco/Ericsson Wedding?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/17/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Nice to See at Least One CSP Taking My Advice
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 2/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
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.