Dear Verizon: your first app store sucked, please don’t try and open another one

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Verizon has had their extremely fair share of bad ideas throughout the years, and you can brace yourselves for another. According to a report by The Information, Verizon and a coalition of other global carriers are considering launching their own Android app store to rival Google Play. The move, should they actually go through with it, is apparently inspired by recent changes to Google’s revenue sharing policy that reportedly cut the percentage for carriers.

We imagine the app store wouldn’t offer much incentive to users to go there instead of heading over to good old Google Play, though Verizon’s reportedly cooking up their own data organizing efforts to be able to offer targeted app recommendations that make sense for each individual. It would take a lot for developers to consider making Verizon’s app store a primary target over primary sources such as Google Play. We imagine Verizon would look to use increased profits for developers and other enticing deals to win them over.

For the user, this creates a major headache and unneeded confusion. What are the benefits of downloading an app from this new store over Google Play if they can be had from both sources? Unless Verizon and their supposed partners use exclusive deals to keep apps out of Google Play’s keeps (which probably wouldn’t be in the best long-term interest of the developer) there doesn’t seem to be any real benefit.

Of course, they could always go the Amazon route and offer free apps like candy to a kid on Halloween, but even that hasn’t been all that sweet. Apps in Amazon’s Appstore aren’t often updated as quickly as their Google Play counterparts. In fact, some apps don’t see updates at all — developers simply forget about them. Why? Because they have an obligation to keep the much larger pool of consumers happy.

Another grave possibility is that Verizon and these carrier partners could block Google Play altogether and force owners of their smartphone to get apps from this new mega-store. It would be a very bold move to gain control over a growing ecosystem that generates billions of dollars per year. Of course, Verizon and those OEMs would lose out on the ability to offer apps like Google Now and Google Search, Gmail, and all sorts of other goodies you can only get by having Google Play.

In that event, Verizon has to tread very carefully — I don’t know about the majority of other smartphone users out there, but I know I would sooner leave my carrier for committing to such a move before simply accepting that I won’t have access to these value-packed apps and services. I know I can’t be the only one who feels the same way, and it could have a much more negative impact over their subscriber base in the long-term. You have to wonder if stepping on Google’s toes is even worth the bit of revenue they’d gain by taking this approach.

So Verizon — please — reconsider. Your first attempt at an app store didn’t work. People have already voiced loud and clear that they much prefer Google’s official offering, which is what compelled you to close your app store in the first place. What makes you think people will feel differently this time around? How much money could you possibly lose from Google cutting your share of revenue when you’re steadily turning in record breaking quarters? Save us all the trouble and headache and just embrace Google Play for what it is: the driving force behind many of the most popular smartphones you sell.

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