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Report: Verizon to Create Wireless Coalition Who Aims to Take on Google Play, Apple App Store (Updated)

LG G3 Verizon - 6

In the wireless industry, apps are still a pretty big deal. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the app ecosystem is young, but you get the feeling that we are only scratching the surface when it comes to potential, not only for the types of tasks they accomplish, but also the amount of money they can make everyone involved. According to a report out of The Information, Verizon wants in (again) because it isn’t exactly thrilled that Google and Apple control the app industry by themselves. In other words, Big Red wants another revenue stream. 

This new report claims that Verizon is talking to industry friends about creating a “coalition” that would eventually launch a global online store for mobile applications. The goal here is to create an app store that would “balance the ecosystem” and hopefully, make them all lots of money outside of Google and Apple. According to this report, Apple currently takes home 30% of App Store profits, with 70% going to developers. Google, on the other hand, gives developers 70% and now takes home 15%, before distributing the rest of the pie to carriers and manufacturers. The Information states that Google used to give carriers 15%, but recently dropped them to 5%.

By creating their own app storefront, carriers could in theory allow developers to use their network technologies to potentially come up with new use cases for apps. They could also create new ways for developers’ apps to be discovered, like through incredibly intrusive measures involving your location, what your friends are downloading, and what time of day it is. Now, there are apps that already do this type of thing, but the idea that a carrier could do this whenever they like is a bit scary to me. Carrier billing could be another selling point. Finally, someone involved in the idea mentioned that “There are unique capabilities of the networks that aren’t being utilized,” that could be used through this coalition’s app store.

If you aren’t seeing any reason there for developers or you and I to jump on board with this new app store, I wouldn’t be shocked. Carriers, including Verizon, have tried a handful of times to create their own app stores. None of us care. We consider it bloatware and typically disable it.

On a related note, when I hear “Verizon” and “coalition” in the same sentence, the first thing that comes to mind is the failure that is Isis Mobile Wallet. Everyone remember the mobile wallet application that Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T were creating to take over mobile payments? You probably have it installed on your phone, yet you have probably never used it. The app failed to launch in a timely manner out of testing, but even since hasn’t given many a reason to switch over to it. Also, the name is now being associated with a militant group, so the company has tried to rebrand. Google Wallet is the mobile payment application of choice for most, even after the carriers in that coalition tried for years to block it, without actually “blocking” it.

Verizon has already failed at least once with their own app store, yet for some reason, I am not at all surprised by their need to get back into the game.

Update:  Verizon has denied that it is working on another app store.

Update 2:  Shortly after Verizon denied that they plan to launch a new app store, The Information came back to say that they stand by their report and have even heard from additional sources with knowledge of the plans.

Via:  The Information (subscription)
  • Cesar

    To quote the late, great Edna Krabappel:

    HAH!

  • Mickey A Valentine

    If they unlocked the phone completely then I could see this working, but with no incentive devs will stick to their non bloat life styles.

  • New to Android

    Is anyone familiar with a company called Mandalay Digital (MNDL is their stock symbol) that makes a product called DT Ignite? They just announced an expanded deal with Verizon for all their Android phones. They rolled out DT Ignite on the LG G3 in July, and according to their last earnings call, things went so well, they are rolling it out to all Verizon Android phones.

    Here is a link to the earnings conference call: http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/call-transcript.aspx?StoryId=2425355&Title=mandalay-digital-group-s-mndl-q1-2015-results-earnings-call-transcript

    “Verizon has been very pleased with the performance of Ignite on the LG G3 smartphone which launched on July 17. Our Ignite software has performed as advertised with respect to installation rates, operational performance and other metrics all meeting or exceeding Verizon’s expectations. We anticipate doing some joint press with Verizon in the near future to provide additional public details and information on the benefits of Ignite to both consumers and advertisers.”

    Could this DT Ignite product be behind the new bloatware install? Is Verizon’s decision to roll out DT Ignite on all Android phones related to the story that broke on The Information?

    MNDL’s stock has gone up quite a bit since the Verizon deal was announced last week. As much as I’ve tried, I just don’t understand what DT Ignite does and how MNDL would make money from a deal like this with Verizon. They talk about getting paid $3 per slot for each phone. I assume this means bloatware that someone is paying them to install on the phone. But I just can’t believe that any more than a very small percentage of users would ever use the bloatware that gets preinstalled on the phones.

    If anyone has any insight into this, please let me know!

  • Davros

    Why in the hell would I subject myself to a verizon app store over Google?…………………..or even Amazon apps for that matter lol.

  • TC Infantino

    Just great. Another intrusive, worthless, Verizon app that can’t be uninstalled, will most likely charge for what Google Play provides for free, and extremely likely VZW will try to force on it’s customers somehow.

  • wmsco1

    Verizon failed and will fail again. They would not sale a app for. 99 cents or $4.50…..they would sell it for $7.99 a month!! Verizon you suck… FAIL FAIL FAIL

  • King Lo

    #LOLVerizon

  • https://plus.google.com/113924127356889315682?tab=ch#113924127356889315682/posts//p/pub Chris Jeske

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaaa. No.

  • I_shower_naked

    I can’t wait to NEVER buy an app from Verizon’s app store.

  • Kayonesoft

    1) You know this is going to come preinstalled and irremovable from all future Verizon phones.
    2) Verizon, first you need to make apps that people actually want to use.
    3) What’s the point of a Verizon app store if all Verizon apps already come preinstalled on all Verizon phones?
    4) Without developers to support you, your store is going to be worthless. Just look at the Windows 8 store.
    I literally cannot see anything good about this.

  • 213ninja

    dumbasshit. i hope it fails hard. i’m all about competition, but these ISP’s need to act more like ISP’s…

  • http://transcendingturmoil.tumblr.com/ gaajiwaaih

    I don’t think this is something I would use. That being said, I’m all in favor of competition in the market. The worst case for consumers would be having a single “app store” across all platforms.

    • jimt

      Do you really want a non removable Verizon app store icon on your phone? Yes, competition is good, bloat is not. If it is removable no problem.

      • http://transcendingturmoil.tumblr.com/ gaajiwaaih

        Agree 100%.

  • MacNificent

    This sucks so much that I almost thought about getting an i*hone for almost .5 seconds and then I woke up…

  • AngryBadger

    I wonder how that meeting went when news hit about that militant group sharing the same name… Sometimes you just aren’t destined to be in a certain market.

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  • hoosiercub88

    Who cares.. so long as they don’t do what they did to the original Galaxy S on their network and relegate search to Bing only instead of Google. If they mandate this on new phones as the only app store installed.. that’s when this becomes a problem.

  • Colts5609

    I can see it now. 10% of the apps on the Play store, hard to navigate, and slow laggy UI to boot. They will probably have an “exclusive” Angry Birds game only for Verizon customers. It will be everything I image it will be.

  • lgreg64

  • Raven65

    NO.

  • Rashad

    Pretty soon we are going to hear that Verizon wants their own OS. Paying for the app on your cell phone bill isn’t enough now they want you to visit their app store that will probably be only available on a phone that no one wants. They will want us to use it and it will probably be full of jank. Just a matter of time for this to fail. I can see it now, they only update the app through an OS update that will have to go through their update approval process and that will be longer. I see FAIL all over this.

  • mcdonsco

    Verizon –> Smoking Crack

  • WickedToby741

    This just reeks of all kinds of bad. Here’s a scary idea for you: apps downloaded from the Verizon app store don’t count towards your data cap.

  • yummy

    You can stick a pig in a vat of lipstick, but that don’t make it mud wrestling.

  • Gfame103

    Is this the beginning of apps in the Play store getting throttled and Verizon apps seeing full Xlte speeds?

  • schoat333

    Oh VZW, how full of fail you are. Their time is coming. They are soon going to anger enough people that they will begin losing money.

  • Mike C.

    I remember a coalition. It was during World War II. What was it called… oh yah… THE NAZI’S!!!

    I remember the various “APP” stores. There was the one for ringtones, ringback tones, etc wen you had “dumb” devices. I see references of V-Cast Music below. I saw their crappy Navigation that you paid for and didn’t work half the time. Oh yahh, those are great awesome apps. Even their apps now suck, like billing and payment, visual voicemail, etc.

    I really don’t see this working. I think the rest of the world is happy with what they have (itunes, google play, amazon, windows, etc). How bout they focus on customer satisfaction, device support and network integration. How about they start a coalition with the other carriersand come up with a common network in which we all can go from carrier to carrier without having to buy new phones and switch radios and so on.

  • Luxferro

    Fail!

    No one wants Verizon’s crap, or wants them in control of their apps. or wants to leave behind the stores they are already vested in

    Amazon gives paid apps away all the time and their store still sucks..

  • Brian Walz

    Like I said before, Verizon you need a Snickers

  • br_hermon

    F U Verizon. Sooo glad I left.

  • Juan Valenzuela

    Instead of V for Verizon it should be V for vampires or V for virus you choose!!

  • addicuss

    I want to laugh this off but being verizon it won’t simply be a matter of trying to compete with apple and google which I’m totally ok with. Verizon will block the play store, force their playstore to be installed and force app links to permanently default to the verizon app store instead of google play. They’ll throw their weight around to make this succeed even if people hate it and don’t want it.

    • Ian

      If by throw their weight around you mean create their own OS then maybe. Google has made the necessary protections to ensure certified android devices always get the Play Store.

      • addicuss

        Sure but that doesn’t mean that Verizon won’t do everything possible to skirt that. Look at google wallet. If it were as easy as Google simply demanding something than Google wallet wouldn’t have been blocked. Let’s not forget the Verizon phones that had Bing set as the default search with no way to change it. The bottom line is if Verizon tells OEMS they have to include Verizon Play and force it as a default the OEM’s will probably comply. Because it’s either that or don’t sell your phone on the biggest American carrier. Also if Verizon were smart they would work with Samsung to fork android remove the play store and use the verizon store. Google has 0 power here. If verizon puts enough pressure on OEM’s oems would potentially give up android before giving up verizon.

        • Ian

          Wallet was more of an app and barely integrated with the OS, therefore it was easy to play games with it. Bing was way back with the S, Android/Google has secured it’s position by leaps and bounds since. Oh and I’d like to see the largest wireless carrier in just the US say no to 80-85% market share.

          Also take into account Verizon is heavily restricted on what they can force on users software-wise since purchasing FCC Block C spectrum that all modern phones utilize.

          Working with Samsung to fork is probably their best bet, Samsung is already trying to do their own thing with Tizen and its not gaining much momentum as of late. Plus if you think the world revolves around one US wireless carrier then you have another thing coming.

          • addicuss

            They said no to apple and barely took a hit. They only budged because they realized they’d make more money carrying iphone. Verizon holds a virtual monopoly in a lot of places. If android wasn’t a choice on some carriers some people wouldn’t go with verizon, but a whole heap of other people wouldn’t care, especially the ones where Verizon is the only option. it boils down to who would budge first Verizon or Google. I love android but if Verizon didn’t carry anything but iphones I’d end up using an iphone as much as I hate them. AT&t has crap coverage here and so does sprint.
            Samsung has been trying to spin off android for awhile now and it’s by far the most popular android line. If verizon paid them to fork android and make the galaxy line exclusive to verizon with no play store google would kind of be screwed. Or verizon would just have them add the verizon app store to every phone and give it prominent placement without removing the play store.

            Verizon has more options and more power in virtually any scenario you could come up with here.

  • Bob G

    Why does USA still let Verizon live?

  • nosedive94

    This is a competitor to Apple as well as Google? How do they expect to override the App Store on iPhones…?

    • Finire

      Require it as bloatware pre installed on the phone or the carriers won’t carry it. If there are enough carriers doing it, and hold forcefully, Apple would have to cave and let them. No matter how successful the iPhone is, you can’t sell it without a market to sell it to.

      • jimt

        Apple would drop Verizon like a hot rock.

        • Finire

          That’s the point of a coalition though. If it’s Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc… that all force it together, Apple would be left with no choice, or they may as well just sell iTouch’s and not phones. As a sole carrier, Verizon couldn’t do this, it would take all or most of the carriers to join together in a unified move.

          • jimt

            Why would any carrier other than Verizon try to force people to use Verizon store app?

          • Finire

            Because, as the article stated above, this was to be a “coalition”. That means not Verizon as an individual company. So this wouldn’t be a “Verizon” app. If it had panned out, it would be an app shared by the coalition.

          • jimt

            Ok, I read the whole thing this time. I just don’t think anyone but AT&T would talk, and even then I don’t think Google or Apple would let this happen. Nobody would use it and this could force ROMing to happen by everyone in the worst case. There is no way even Evil Verizon will do this, let alone all the isps. Its about as likely as switching to Tizan, good luck.

  • ROR1997

    Why? So they can have millions of apps on their app store?

    So our phones vancomycin launched with every single one of those apps?

  • TheWenger

    Dumb pipe. Dumb pipe. Dumb pipe. Please, just dumb pipe.

  • cgalyon

    I agree with the sentiments and points in this post. We need a carrier-run app store like we need a hole in the head. Both are equally beneficial. Eager to see this fail, but I’m wary of the carriers’ willingness to harm consumers’ experience in an effort to push it through (e.g., throttling)

    • Tony Spencer

      Makes me wonder if data rates will apply?

  • DanWazz

    Great, now Verizon wants people to wait months for app updates too.

    • Tony Spencer

      That way they can add their own in app purchases!

    • jimt

      Sorry, that app is not Verizon approved.

  • SA_NYC

    There’s a fairly new, very senior guy heading up the Verizon technical group (the old wireless side) and he’s a software guy so his vision for Verizon is to be a software company. Ergo, this doesn’t surprise me. For whatever reason though, as everyone on this site knows, Verizon apps are almost always absolutely terrible; it’s really amazing how such a big, well-funded team can pump out such crap. I do think that the new My Verizon Mobile that came preinstalled on my LG G3 is less bad than it used to be, but it’s still slow as molasses even just to log in most of the time. The Message+ app that was the G3’s SMS default app has some promise but lacks basic functionality, like the ability to delete multiple messages within a thread at one time without deleting the whole thread. And of course we all know about VZW Navigator…It’s remarkable that this stuff ever sees the light of day. And it goes to show that it’s not might that makes right when it comes to app development, thankfully.

  • http://Twitter.com/ContestsAccount bigrob60

    Just what the world needs…The return of the Verizon app store. Le sigh.

  • Scott

    If anyone has the following and a minimum amount of smarts to pull this off, it is Samsung. Verizon? please.

  • Peter Blanco

    Vuck Ferizon.