Verizon VCast App Store – Developers show Heavy Interest

Verizon took a brave new step. They have planned to revolutionize the Mobile industry by changing the limit of App Stores from CellPhone Vendors to Service Providers.

On Tuesday, Verizon held a conference at San Jose, California, Inviting developers for VDC – Verizon Developer Community. Developers showed high Interest in the idea.

Though there holds a big hurdle for the project — cross-platform consistency

At the conference, Verizon Wireless gave some details about its VCast App Store, scheduled for launch in the fourth quarter, 4Q. Inspired by the blockbuster success of the App Store for Apple’s iPhone, as well as the launches of application shops from Google, Research In Motion, Microsoft and other players, the nation’s biggest mobile operator plans to make it easier for developers to get their applications out to mobile users. Its goal is to take applications from submission to commercial availability in less than 14 days.

Verizon talked about development initiative. It will provide APIs that give developers access to Verizon resources including billing, location, messaging and presence. Those APIs will complement the existing SDKs for mobile platforms such as RIM’s BlackBerry and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, Verizon said.

Uhmm.. Because we know Android, Palm Pre and possible iPhone are also arriving, we were expecting a realted announcement, but nothing came out, yet.

Good News for developers:

The business strategy is very similar to Apple App Store. Developers will get 70 percent of the revenue from paid applications.

Verizon isn’t charging developers to register on its site, and it intends not to charge for testing and certification of applications, said Roger Gurnani, senior vice president of product development, now that’s similar to Palm.

Developers are worried about how Verizon will handle the many platforms it will probably have to support. Jeffrey Baitis, a senior applications architect at RiffWare, wants to make sure the Verizon APIs for various phone types are consistent. Some features of Riffware applications have not been supported on all phones, he said. For example, one application had a camera function that only worked on 60 percent of handsets, he said. Riffware’s current products include a guitar-tuning application and a tool for blocking unwanted calls.

Baitis was hoping to hear how developers could tell Verizon what capabilities need to be on the carrier’s “white list” of requirements when it tests new handsets.

“Someone needs to manage that, so these kinds of things don’t happen,” Baitis said.

If Verizon manages to answer this question well, it’s going to hit the stars.

Verizon Strengths on VCast App Store

One software company working with Verizon that was featured at the conference reported a good experience so far. Music-streaming and purchasing application Slacker already appears on Verizon phones. Preparing the application to appear on Verizon wasn’t all easy, said Slacker President Jim Cady, but the carrier was willing to take input from Slacker, make reasonable compromises and make changes rapidly, he said.

The moderately sized meeting sold out, which bodes well for Verizon’s app store plans as well as its intention to open a West Coast research center in Silicon Valley next year. The carrier already has one on the East Coast, where it’s based. At the West Coast site, Verizon hopes to meet with some of the “best and brightest” mobile developers in the Valley.

“Hey, Verizon, it’s time to digg holes for monopolies, let’s do it.” said one excited developer.

Excitement is on the rise, let’s see how well can Verizon design their multi-vendor APIs.

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