Verizon dares to Stand Against Apple iPhone App Store, changes Concept

Till date we have seen Mobile Vendors coming up with App Store. Ofcourse, Apple started it, RIM, Nokia, sony, google android followed the trend and started their own.

But what Verizon is going to do, if successful, will change the concept. Verizon is joining with Vodafone, Japan’s SoftBank, and China Mobile to grab a chunk of the mobile-software market from the phonemakers to the Service providers. Wireless CEO Lowell McAdams has lay down a global strategy to enter the App market, a move that could benefit the wireless industry.

Daring enough, Verizon Wireless is gearing up to challenge Apple in the market for software applications that are downloaded to cell phones. The movement itself is quiet brave because of the billion numbers of success of App Store.

Verizon, the no.1 US wireless operator, plans to preview its software store on July 28. They are pouring substantial resources into the effort. No doubt, it will be a struggle to catch up to Apple, which has built broad support among software developers and customers in the year since it launched its App Store.

Customers are flocking to devices such as the iPhone that offer myriad programs, and developers are cooking up software to meet the demand. You can use an iPhone to look for jobs, read golf greens, tune into digital radio, or play games. Juniper Research estimates sales of mobile applications could hit $25 billion in 2014, up from $5 billion this year.

What’s yet to be decided is who will control this market. Wireless carriers have long been the gatekeepers for what people do with their phones. But phonemakers, led by Apple and Research In Motion RIM, have grabbed an early lead by creating software stores that are easy for customers to use and profitable for developers. Apple says 100,000 developers have created more than 65,000 iPhone applications so far, and customers have downloaded those applications more than 1.5 billion times.

“It is going to be very hard for others to catch up,” boasted Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a July 14 press.

To get into the game, Verizon is crafting a strategy that’s more open and global than it has ever used in the past. It is teaming up with Vodafone, Japan’s SoftBank, and China Mobile to create a common software foundation. Developers will be able to write applications for the standard, which the carriers are calling the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL). When the store launches in the fall, it could reach as many as 1 billion customers, the combined total for the four operators. “I am not here to bash anybody, but if I could write one application that could touch every iPhone customer or one billion customers, who am I going to write for?” says Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam.

What it Does Mean for Developers
Part of the plan is to make it easier and cheaper for wireless software developers to work with Verizon and its partners. In the past, a developer would have to design an app to work with the dozens of handsetssupported by a carrier. Now Verizon says it will offer tools so developers can write one app that will work on all handsets developed under the JIL standard. Verizon is also expected to offer developers a greater share of the application revenue than in the past and a more streamlined certification process. Apps could appear in its catalog within days instead of weeks or months, says Verizon Vice-President Ryan Hughes. To woo the developer community, the company has organized a special conference for July 28 in San Jose, where it will unveil part of its plan.

Still, some developers remain skeptical. Josh Koppel, co-founder of ScrollMotion, a New York-based startup that has developed a hit electronic reader for the iPhone, says it plans to develop more apps for the iPhone, RIM’s BlackBerry, and Google’s Android system. Yet while he says the Verizon joint venture sounds exciting, he is not convinced the carriers have the software and design expertise needed to pull off such an enterprise. “Every company is suddenly making a mad scramble to make an app store,” says Koppel. “It doesn’t mean they know how.”

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