Verizon Justifies V Cast Apps with Carrier Billing
Just last week, Verizon began accepting submissions for the Samsung Fascinate and Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet computer. Developers must build apps for the latest flavor of the OS, Android 2.2, said Haller. As additional points of attraction, Verizon said it will impose no testing fees, guarantee application placement within two weeks of submission and provide a 70-30 carrier split in favor of the developer.While Google's Android Market allows T-Mobile customers to charge Android apps to their wireless bills, the store does not yet allow Verizon Droid smartphone owners to enjoy this convenience. V Cast Apps will provide such billing. "We're going to make it super easy for [consumers] to pay for the apps," Haller said. "Carrier billing lets us take care of some of those operational issues." Note this subtle dig at Google. Many phone experts and consumers have criticized Google for its billing limitations, which also include the glaring reality that developers for the Android Market can only sell apps in nine countries. Provided the apps that developers build for Verizon are of sound quality, carrier billing for V Cast Apps could offer Verizon quite a competitive advantage over Google's Android Market and would perhaps cloud the carrier's relationship with its platform partner. Google declined to comment for this story. V Cast Apps for Android wasn't the only news of note for the company at VDC. Verizon also launched APIs for location and messaging that developers may incorporate into apps built for V Cast. Messaging APIs will allow developers to create applications and features such as "link-to-buy" a product tools. Location APIs will allow developers to infuse location information in applications and services on most Verizon Wireless smartphones. Additional APIs for presence and device capabilities are on the way, Haller promised.
But perhaps Verizon's main draw for V Cast Apps will come in the form of its carrier billing services.