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



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.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Why should they even get a cut? Is it about carrier billing? If so I’m surprised Google gets to decide the percentage.

  2. I’d say we boycott Verizon. And torch all their towers.

  3. Even with the “free app” incentives, I’ve stopped using the Amazon App Store – I don’t need to worry about multiple app sources and conflicting updates where one app store updates an app I downloaded from the other app store and now my license is invalid. I definitely wouldn’t use a carrier-specific app store! They already have a section within the Google Play Store anyway. Carriers need to be scaled back to the dumb pipes we need them to be.

    1. The very few apps I used from Amazon daily freebies I’ve since replaced by purchasing them for a measly $0.99 – $4.99, because it wasn’t worth the agony of dealing with the Amazon Appstore

  4. yea no one is excited about this news.

  5. jay!! now Verizon customer get the opportunity to pay for apps that are free on the play store, jayyyy!

    1. Who is this Jay fellow you keep yelling at?

      1. He sees a bird and is hungry.

  6. I haven’t downloaded anything for the amazon app store in about a 15 month.

    1. Ditto

  7. Memo to carriers – Be content with the overpriced amounts that you are already pilfering from us. Nobody wants anything to do with your bloated app store.

    Signed, the consumers.

  8. The key part of this rumor is “Verizon and a coalition of other global carriers”.
    If they all ganged together they could definitely force Google’s hand one way or another (legality? IANAL).

    Amazon would most likely strike a better profit-sharing deal on a whim, and would be considered a more mature offering than rolling out a brand new ecosystem.

    Then again, this could simply push everyone (that cares) to GPe/Nexus devices (!Verizon) or an iPhone.

  9. Greed spawns misery for consumers, always!

  10. The sooner these carriers learn that they are nothing but dumb pipes, the better.

    1. The carrier app store idea is a pipedream at best.

    2. Carriers won’t concede that they are (or should be) dumb pipes until users start treating that way. Every user who buys a device (or any hardware) from a carrier, goes to (or calls) their carrier for assistance with using their device, buys device insurance from their carrier, or involves their carrier in anything other than handling their voice, data and messaging traffic, is propping up the carrier’s current business model. Users must change their behavior before the carriers will even consider it.

  11. If its from Verizon it will probably work well and be grossly overpriced.

  12. I could see VZW setup “downloads from our store don’t count against your data bucket.”

    I could possibly conceive of them even setting up a system where data used through an app bought from their store doesn’t count against your data bucket.

  13. This would be at least Verizons 3rd attempt at an app store. Lest we forget the dark medieval days before true smartphones. When apps like vznavigator were charged on carrier billing by the month, and if you got a new phone(even through insurance) they would only credit you for apps youd purchased in the last 90days, and only after you sat on hold and begged for hours. Fear verizon apps like the plague that they are.

  14. Maybe Google can respond with “OK you want to start up your own app store VZ? alright, we’ll sell you licenses for Android on all of your phones” how’d you like them apples VZ?

    What a dumb move, sounds like failing ‘marketing gurus’ last ditch attempt to not get fired.

  15. VZW will create another app store. Fail again, do away with their app store and we will never hear of a Verizon app store again. That is, until they try it again a few years after this upcoming disaster. Luckily they cannot force users to use their crappy app store, if and when it comes. Another great reason to switch carriers. Verizon is its own worst enemy right now.

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