& 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
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.
Virtual reality wasn't the only vomit-inducing feature of this year's CES. Booth babes and boys' clubs were still dominant, although there was progress afoot in Vegas.
Join Women in Comms and Intel 5G General Manager Caroline Chan tomorrow at noon EST for a live radio show chat on professional and technological risk taking.
In time for Internet of Things World, IoT World News profiles four women who are driving the technology behind IoT.
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 Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Web-Scale View

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's former chief analyst Patrick Donegan shared insight from the recent web-scale operators report, which featured research on how web-scale operators view the market, the best web-scale companies to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking: Automation, Virtualization & Simplification

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Sanjeev Mervana outlines the latest innovations in networking technology at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
LRTV Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (1) comment


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. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
A Women in Comms Glossary
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/18/2017
Is Cable One Beefing Up for Slaughter?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 1/20/2017
Nokia CTO: 2017 Is the Year 5G Gets in the Field
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/19/2017
TV's Paradox: No HDR Without 4K
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Cable Has One Thing Verizon Needs
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
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
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.