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Verizon Outlines App Store Political Spectrum

12:05 PM -- When it comes to mobile application stores, Verizon Wireless wants developers to know its new VCast Apps store isn’t the Brew they once knew. But, before you bring on the porn, you should know it’s no freewheeling Android ecosystem either. (See Jobs Defends App Screening.)

In an interview this week on the rapidly expanding world of mobile app stores, Ed Ruth, Verizon’s director of VCast Apps, outlined for me the “spectrum of open ecosystems,” placing the newly launched VCast App Store in the comfortable middle-of-the-road lane. Surprisingly, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) wasn’t the most extreme, from his operator-oriented perspective. Verizon was.

Ruth says that on the far right is Brew, which he says is “fairly closed.” On the far left is Android where he says apps are let onboard with little discretion regarding explicit content or even whether they work at all. Somewhere in between the two is Apple with its (reasonable?) rules for admittance into the App Store.

“We probably sit a little left of Apple in terms of what we would accept or not,” Ruth said. “You don’t need to code or build for a particular operating system. We can support Flash.”

Verizon is also promising access to its network, location, messaging, and affiliate APIs to create some more interesting apps in as close to 14 days of turnaround from content submission to publication as possible. If it’s not illegal and it’s not explicit, VCast will carry it, according to Ruth.

To be fair, the store’s only been up and running for three weeks on one device, the BlackBerry Storm II, with 300 apps, so it’s too early to judge if the political spectrum holds true for Verizon. But, the lines have been drawn.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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