updated 01:20 am EST, Wed January 12, 2011
Verizon may offer apps through App Store
Carrier-added applications on smartphones are often the bane of users, and Verizon is one of the leading proponents of sideloaded apps, more commonly known as "crapware" because it generally exists only to promote additional -- and often unwanted -- services, or was placed on the phone due to a payment to the carrier by a company. Speaking to the press at today's Verizon event, Apple Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller said the Verizon iPhone 4 would not have any such apps preloaded.
"We want the experience to be the same for every iPhone user," Schiller told Ars Technica and others. "So there are no special Verizon Apps preinstalled."
He added that AT&T offers some apps in the App Store, and "Iíll let Verizon comment if they are working on anything for that." One app that Verizon normally installs on its smartphones that will be present on the iPhone is the Personal Hotspot control, but Apple has avoid the problem by incorporating it directly into the iOS version running on the Verizon iPhone, and may make that technology available to other carriers.
Other, less well-regarded apps normally pre-loaded by Verizon include a Blockbuster Video app, Verizon's VCast music an app store, a subscription-required GPS app called VZ Navigator and an app called "City ID" that periodically interrupts users automatically to promote a $2 per month subscription to the City ID service -- all of which are pre-loaded on the front "page" of the phone for maximum impact and are not moveable as Apple's own pre-installed apps are.
Also pre-loaded on some models are Microsoft's Bing app (often replacing Google), Amazon's Kindle app, a backup assistant, and Skype. AppleInsider has reported that Verizon has recently started automatically pushing game demos and Flash updates onto their smartphones, all of which are not removable through normal means.
The lack of side-loaded carrier apps on the Verizon iPhone is seen as a concession by the carrier and a victory for Apple in their desire to keep the iPhone's iOS look and feel consistent.