Verizon Taking On Android Market
Asked for more information, Verizon Wireless spokesperson Debra Lewis said in a statement to eWEEK: "The goal is to provide options for developers and choice and ease for customers (i.e. carrier billing). We hope they all agree." This means users can buy an app from V Cast Apps and have it billed to their Verizon phone account. Google is putting carrier billing capability in place for consumers who wish to purchase apps.She noted that when Verizon Wireless announced Research In Motion as the first platform of record for the V Cast Apps store last year, the company pledged to support additional platforms over time. Yet no one could predict the carrier might directly compete with Google's Android Market, which could become as crucial to Android phone proliferation as Apple's App Store has proven for the iPhone. Google and Verizon appeared to smooth over their rocky relationship over the 700MHz wireless spectrum last October when the companies announced their partnership for Android smartphones. The companies are also working on Android tablets together. Yet there still lies a strong undercurrent of competition, as Verizon has a deal in place with Microsoft to place the Bing search and Map apps on some of its phone. The latest proof of this pact materialized in the Samsung Fascinate, which features Bing Search and Bing Maps instead of Google Search and Google Maps, which come preloaded on Verizon's Droid line. The Fascinate is also loaded with several V Cast apps for music, videos, ringtones and navigation, perhaps foreshadowing the company's plans to insert the platform more deeply into its Android phones.
Google declined to comment on Verizon's pending competitive strike vis-??í-vis the V Cast Apps store. However, Lewis indicated that the app store shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, let alone a stealth attack on Google.