Verizon Woos Smartphone App Developers with Giveaways

Verizon Wireless has announced the launch of a new contest for developers to build compelling applications for the company's upcoming V CAST Apps store for smartphone applications.

Verizon Wireless has announced the launch of a new contest for developers to build compelling applications for the company's upcoming V CAST Apps store for smartphone applications.

Verizon has put out the call to mobile applications developers to enter innovative applications in the company's Apply Your Ideas contest beginning Aug. 14. The grand prize winner of the contest will win $50,000.

The contest is another in a series of moves Verizon is making to beef up its position with developers as the company gets closer to the rollout of its applications store. The first partner Verizon is highlighting in this effort is Research In Motion and its BlackBerry platform. In turn, RIM announced a new set of tools to support both Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio developers.

"This contest is a great way for any developer to show off their most interesting and appealing apps, not to mention it has the potential for tremendous financial and other rewards," said Ryan Hughes, vice president, partner management and business development at Verizon, in a statement. "We want developers to make V CAST Apps the home of the coolest, most-wanted mobile apps, and we look forward to developers bringing new concepts as well as existing apps from many platforms to the BlackBerry platform, not only for this contest, but ultimately to V CAST Apps."

Developers can submit applications in five categories -- Connect, Entertain, Guide, Save Time and Enhance Living, Verizon officials said. In addition, the company said it is encouraging developers who have been creating applications for platforms such as Java, BREW, Android, Windows Mobile and others to enter the Apply Your Ideas contest. However, applications must be new to the BlackBerry wireless platform and work on BlackBerry Storm smartphones to be eligible to win.

Members of the Verizon Developer Community (VDC) will select the category winners and the People's Choice winner from among the applications submitted. The Grand Prize winner, chosen from among the category winners by a panel of judges, will take home $50,000; 200 percent of the application's revenue for a year (to a maximum of actual revenue plus $100,000); and a featured spot at the launch of the V CAST Apps storefront.

The schedule for the contest is:

"??Ç Aug. 14 - Sept. 20: Developers submit entries at www.applyyourideas.com??Ç Sept. 24 - Sept. 28: Online voting for members of the VDC to determine semi-finalists??Ç Oct. 6: Semi-finalists announced??Ç Oct. 7 - Oct. 18: Online voting for category winners and People's Choice winner; judges panel determines Grand Prize winner from category winners??Ç Oct. 30: Grand Prize, People's Choice and category winners announced"

For an overview of the contest, the full set of rules and an explanation of prizes, visit www.applyyourideas.com.