Verizon Challenges Android Market with V Cast Apps Store

Verizon Wireless is inviting Android application submissions for its pending V Cast Apps store, putting it in direct competition with Google's Android Market.

In a move that could further stoke the rivalry between Google and Verizon Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. wireless carrier is asking for application submissions from developers writing for the Android operating system.

Verizon earlier this month began accepting binary Android app submissions for V CAST Apps, the application store the company is expected to launch Sept. 21 at its Verizon Developer Community conference in Las Vegas.

Available on Android 2.2 only, binary submission of apps is open for Verizon's HTC Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid and Motorola Droid X. As points of attraction, Verizon promises no testing fees, application placement within two weeks of submission and a 70-30 carrier split in favor of the app developer.

But Verizon's note to developers, as obtained by the blog Android and Me, added: "As you know, merchandising your Android app through other channels can be a challenge, this is how V Cast Apps can make a difference to you."

With that statement, V Cast Apps for Android appears to be a blatant shot across Google's bow, offering developers a salve to one of Google's biggest pain points with the Android Market.

Some 85,000-plus apps are offered via an Android Market widget on Android phones Verizon sells in the United States. Developers all over the country lament the fact that Android Market only enables payment for apps in nine countries.

By contrast, Apple's App Store supports paid apps in more than 90 countries. With V Cast Apps, Verizon is clearly trying to make it easier for developers to buy apps directly from its own store instead of the Android Market.