Verizon announces plans for its much-anticipated V Cast Apps Store at its Verizon Developer Community Conference.
announced plans for its much-anticipated V Cast Apps Store at its Verizon Developer Community Conference
According to John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing
officer at Verizon Communications, the V Cast Apps Store "will open up
later this year." At the VDC event held in San Jose,
Calif., Stratton said Verizon would in no
way compete with its partners.
"What Verizon's doing in this space is not to collide with the other
companies in this space," such as Research In Motion, Microsoft and the
Android platform, he said. "Verizon does not intend to generate its own
SDKs [software development kits] and collide with others. Our goal is to deliver
tools to complement these platforms ... to complement the on-device portal with
a Verizon Web portal."
Verizon.com is the 26th-most visited site in the world, he said, with 60
million visitors hitting the site each month.
Click here to read more about Verizon's VDC conference.
Stratton said the new Apps store is indicative of Verizon's history of going
in the opposite direction from the rest of the industry. He said when other
carriers had a "barrier to exit" over the issue of phone numbers,
"we said that didn't make sense, so we supported local number
portability." This time frame is somewhat similar, he said.
Meanwhile, Stratton said, when Verizon had to choose which smartphone maker
to invite to launch its developer strategy and application store with, or
"which platform to work with first and foremost," the choice of RIM
was an easy one.
Jim Balsillie, co-CEO at RIM, spoke at
the VDC event and said to developers, regarding Verizon's move: "This is
an enormous strategic shift for them to engage you in ... We're in full support
of the strategic direction they're bringing out today."
Balsillie said there is room for all kinds of applications to run on
smartphones, including enterprise applications that already are available via BlackBerry
App World such as SAP and Saleforce.com
"I've personally met with hundreds of CIOs, and mobility and wireless
are areas where they want to deploy," Balsillie said.
Moreover, partly in honor of its burgeoning partnership with Verizon,
Balsillie announced new Web development tools for Eclipse and for Microsoft
Visual Studio developers.
"We're partnering with Verizon in this new, open development initiative,"
The tools include the BlackBerry
Web Development Plug-in
for Eclipse and the BlackBerry Plug-in for
Microsoft Visual Studio Version 1.2. "These tools are part of a complete
portfolio of BlackBerry developer tools for Web and Java development and a rich
set of APIs that enable developers to easily create a wide variety of mobile
applications," RIM said in a news release.
"The BlackBerry developer tools portfolio aims to bring together the
best of Java and Web development for the creation of Web applications that are
integrated with core BlackBerry smartphone functions for a seamless, intuitive
and robust user experience," said Alan Brenner, senior vice president of
RIM's BlackBerry Platform Group. "The evolving portfolio of Web
development tools for the BlackBerry platform allows developers to work in
familiar development environments to create, debug, profile, test and optimize
their Web applications for BlackBerry smartphones."
At VDC, Balsillie asked, "Does the world need another app store?
Absolutely. ... You want channels and you need channels. App World is simple
for us. We've had developers for a long time-this is about a channel. We're
going to support both," he said, meaning both BlackBerry App World and the
upcoming V Cast Apps Store. "We'll have a virtual preload of the V Cast
Apps Store," he said.
Stratton said qualifying for the V Cast Apps store will be simple for
developers who are already creating applications for App World. "It's got
to be a straightforward process," he said. "If you've developed an
app for the RIM app store in my mind you're good to go" and develop for V
Cast Apps, he said. "From our thinking this has got to be a frictionless
Stratton also said Verizon will be in the business of marketing applications
on its store, saying, "We've built our whole brand around the quality and
reliability of the network, but the device is becoming more important and the
apps are becoming more and more important."
The entire process from when a developer submits an application to when it
appears in the V Cast store will take no more than 14 days, Stratton said to
applause from the audience of developers.
Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon Wireless, said
as he welcomed developers to the VDC event, "If you're a developer
deciding which network to put your app on, you're going to choose the most
Indeed, the V Cast Apps Store is not Verizon's first foray into the world of
applications. The company has been in the business of building BREW (Binary
Runtime Environment for Wireless) applications and will continue its BREW
support, Stratton said. He also noted that Verizon's mix of phones has grown
from 15 percent smartphones to more than 40 percent and growing rapidly.