updated 11:30 pm EDT, Mon July 13, 2009
Verizon app store rules
Verizon has disclosed a number of details regarding its upcoming app store, including plans to prohibit handset makers from shipping devices with their own app portals, according to GigaOM. The restrictions will prevent immediate access to the BlackBerry App World or Windows Mobile Marketplace, although users will be permitted to add the stores manually.
Verizon's VP of Partner Management, Ryan Hughes, said in an interview that the carrier will integrate content from a variety of sources including Windows Mobile, Palm, Android and BlackBerry. Developers can create content for each platform, while each app that requires subscriber data or billing will require approval from Verizon.
The exact terms of the program remains unknown, although Verizon is expected to make considerable changes to attract a wider range of developers. The company will be competing amongst a number of other app stores attempting to bridge the gap with Apple's App Store, which currently hosts over 50,000 titles. The iPhone portal recently celebrated its first-year anniversary earlier this month, after reaching past one billion downloads in April.
"We've always had deals with companies like ESPN and EA, but now there are all these mom-and-pop developers," Hughes said. "So where there were once 20 or 40 developers that you needed to care about, now you have 100,000. Quite candidly, we didn't have the framework to handle those applications in Brew."
Hughes suggests the app store will be "competitive, not only with the price, but with the process and the simplicity which developers have come to expect in open ecosystems." The comments could be considered a dig at Apple, which has received criticism from a number of developers frustrated with the alleged subjectivity of the App Store approval process.
Verizon claims its app store will be ready before the end of the year. Additional information will be available during the company's developer conference scheduled to begin July 28th in San Jose.