Verizon to Launch V Cast Mobile App Store March 29

Verizon finally joins the mobile app market with the V Cast App store, which makes its debut March 29, eight months after Verizon first announced it.

Verizon Wireless announced at the annual CTIA wireless trade show that it would launch an online application store for its mobile phones beginning March 29. Reuters reported Verizon, which is establishing the store in partnership with Vodafone Group, would allow customers to pay for downloaded apps by adding the cost onto their monthly phone bill, as opposed to competing ventures like Google's Android application store or Apple's App Store. Verizon, which sells a variety of handsets, also offers Android-powered devices like the Motorola Droid smartphone.
V Cast Apps, as the store will be known, will come online with about 300 applications, the company said, though Verizon is hoping individual developers will soon push that number into the thousands. The Apple App Store, in comparison, boasts more than 100,000 applications and as of January more than 3 billion apps have been downloaded from the site. Verizon first made the announcement eight months ago. The company also noted the V Cast Apps store would supplement complimentary channels in the BlackBerry and Android app stores, paving the way for applications posted there to migrate to V Cast Apps.
The announcement was one of several Verizon made at CTIA, including the news that Skype mobile will be available on nine of the carrier's smartphones this week. "We set out to transform Skype and the customer experience when we partnered with Skype early on, and we made a few decisions," said Verizon's senior vice president of digital media and marketing, John Harrobin. "The first is that this application needs to be really easy to use. Second, it needs to be really easy to operate when you're going from device to device. And third, it needs to have that call quality that our customers are used to."
The company also announced expanded coverage for 3G wireless applications and Internet access in Hartford County, Conn. According to a company release, Verizon has invested $2.6 billion into its New England network since 2000, including $192 million in 2009. "The $2.6 billion we've invested into our New England network has kept us ahead of consumer trends, provided our customers a 3G advantage and underscored our belief that any mobile device is only as good as the network it runs on," said Verizon's director for network systems performance, Richard Enright. "People across Connecticut are increasingly relying on smartphones and 3G apps to manage their busy lives and stay connected at home or on-the-go."