Verizon to Close App Store

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Posted 5 years ago

Leading mobile carrier Verizon Wireless has announced that it will close down its app store in January 2013. The store, which features apps for BlackBerry and Android, has failed to capture the attention of Verizon customers and very few people are likely to be disappointed by the news.

The marketplace was launched by in March 2010 as the VCast App Store and later changed its name to Verizon Apps, although neither name brought success to the store, which lacked appeal compared to the likes of Google Play and BlackBerry App World. Even the likes of the Amazon Appstore and Getjar are seen as better options to users, who for the most part regarded Verizon’s foray into the world of apps as nothing but bloatware.

Verizon set out with good intentions, aiming to attract developers to the app store by offering 70 percent of all proceeds for apps marketed to users of Android and BlackBerry, with the mobile carrier keeping the remaining 30 percent. However, such a percentage split was no different to what was already being offered by the more established app stores, where developers are likely to get more exposure for their apps.

Verizon had nothing different to offer developers, and as they said themselves in a statement about the impending closure: “Most apps existing on Verizon Apps are already available on multiple app storefronts, such as Google Play, Amazon, and BlackBerry App World.”

To make things even more difficult for Verizon in their efforts to build a viable app store, Google announced in a tweet on the Google Play Twitter account that they were in the process of rolling out a feature that will allow Verizon users to pay for purchases from the Google Play store on their phone bill. This took away the only thing Verizon had that other app stores didn’t.

According to the announcement, Verizon will begin the shutdown by removing Verizon Apps from BlackBerry and Android devices in January 2013, with the process expected to be completed by March 27.

Few people will even notice that Verizon Apps is gone; in fact most Verizon users probably didn’t know that they had it in the first place. And as for developers, they are too busy marketing for Google Play anyway!

– Anthony Carter

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