In 2013 Verizon shut down its app store efforts, citing the changing landscape of the mobile industry as the reason for getting out of the game. A bit over a year later, it looks like Big Red is changing their minds, at least if a new report from The Information proves correct. This time around, Verizon reportedly is looking to form a ‘coalition’ with other carriers and even OEMs with the goal of releasing the store globally, as opposed to maintaining the effort independently and exclusively for their network.
Discussions for this new store are still in the early stage, but basically Verizon is looking for another way for us to hand over our money to the carrier. The Information says that this is also a response to Google recently cutting back the piece of the pie it is sharing with carriers and hardware manufacturers. Of course, Verizon tried this before and to no avail.
If the report is true, every Verizon customer will likely find themselves force-fed the store without any way to uninstall it
What will be different this time? In addition to teaming up with other companies, Big Red reportedly wants to make its app store smarter than the competition by using location, social info, time of day and other data to recommend apps to its users. There’s also talk about Verizon offering special advantages to those that use its app store, like discounted data rates for apps that come from the Verizon store, improved carrier billing and more. So does Verizon actually have a shot of doing well here? Unless they employ some extremely aggressive tactics (and keep their name off the app’s branding), we doubt it.
Third-party Android app stores are a dime a dozen, but few have really found true levels with Amazon’s AppStore being the closest to a success story, though it substantially lags behind the Play store in terms of popularity. The biggest problems with carrier stores is they tend to have awful interfaces and are generally poor when it comes to issuing app updates. These are just two hurdles that Verizon will need to overcome if they want their store to be a smash hit. The lack of apps and Verizon app reputation are two additional problems that Big Red is likely to face.
Regardless of whether it’s a success or not, if the report is correct, we imagine every Verizon customer will soon find themselves force-fed the store without any way to uninstall it. Yay, bloatware!