Verizon to Launch VCAST Android App Store

Verizon to Launch VCAST Android App Store

Sep 17, 2010

Big Red is at it again. What looks to be its latest assault on Android, Verizon is planning to launch its own Android App Store. I can already see Agent Fox Mulder’s desk piling up with pages and pages of Verizon conspiracy theories. Let’s take a look at what this may or may not mean.

For developers, it’s another avenue to market their apps, but at the same time if it’s already available in Google’s Android market, why even bother? For one, the biggest complaint against the Android market is the fact that you have to sift through endless amounts of crap to find a quality app. Secondly, you have what seems to be a clone experiment gone bad with the amount of duplicate styled apps populating your pages.

Verizon wants to *cough* make more money *cough* be our (Verizon customers) savior and offer its market which they claim will have less clutter, quality apps and convenient billing. With Big Red’s track record its hard to decipher their true intentions.

So will this be worth the trouble for developers?

It definitely adds more work for developers who will now have to offer updates, bug fixes, support, etc. to yet another marketplace. They will have to respond to a barrage of emails asking about transferring their purchases, and also deal with another system for payments. Not to mention having another “Big Brother” holding their means of income hostage. Will this addition really increase their profits? Verizon customers already have access to the Android market, so how many of these users will actually use the VCAST market? (I have Verizon and I rarely ever check out their tab in the Android market) Will this new market really make quality apps easier to find or will it too eventually succumb to saturation? So many what ifs that it’s really hard to formulate an opinion on the subject.

Here’s what Verizon has to say about the advantages:

It’s Free – No Testing Fees
It’s Fast – Our Goal is to place your application in the App Store within 14 days of Submission
Abbreviated Click-Thru Agreement
Carrier Billing – Your applications are billed directly to the Customer’s Bill; No credit cards, PayPal, etc.
70/30 Revenue Share – 70% Developer / 30% Verizon
Hands-on, Experienced Content Programming Team – Get the visibility you deserve, not just a quality-crushing algorithm!
Content Programming and Store continuity across multiple platforms (BlackBerry & Android)
Integration with Network API’s! Messaging & aGPS
Detailed submission guides online and forums monitored by our support staff
Subscription Billing – Coming Soon!

I also have a hunch that Verizon is planning on supporting in-app purchases, which Google has yet to adopt and will be a benefit to developers. I guess it will really be up to the developers whether it is worth it or not. As for users there’s still too much speculation as to what this all means. I will, however, list some concerns that would need to be addressed before I “willingly” include the VCAST Android Market into my mobile life:

  • Does Verizon plan on eventually blocking the Google Android market and only allowing the VCAST Android Market?
  • Will developers have the freedom of offering their apps on all markets or will Verizon have some sort of agreement/clause to prevent this?
  • Will carrier billing result in any additional hidden taxes or fees at the end of the month?
  • Will there be some sort of authentication process for purchasing through carrier billing? I don’t want to get my bill at the end of the month only to find out my daughter purchased 20 apps through carrier billing without my knowledge.
  • What kind of support, guarantees and refund policies will be offered by Verizon’s market?
  • Will Verizon ban side loading apps?
  • How does Verizon decide what app is good or bad and what kind of security against piracy will they offer to developers?
  • Will you be able to transfer your VCAST market app purchases between phones or will you have to pay for the app again?

So, what do you think? Are you are developer or user? Does this seem like a good or bad idea and will this help or hurt the Android way of life?

Source:Android And Me

Vincent Messina
Self made billionaire, inventor of the Large Hadron Collider and owner of the New England Patriots soon found life quite boring. This kid at heart decided to trade it all to become the worlds first fun loving father, writer, musician with an ever growing obsession for little green robots.
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