Verizon to launch its own app store for Android to compete with Google Play

By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 21, 2014 01:48 AM EDT

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Verizon Wireless is apparently gearing up to launch its very own app store to compete with Google Play on Android devices, according to a new report.

This app store reportedly stems from a partnership Verizon made with other carriers and hardware makers, and will be available globally.

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The news comes from a new report from The Information, which notes that the discussions for this new app store are still at an early stage at this point. As such, Verizon has yet to set a concrete date for when it will launch its store.

As a reminder, this is not Verizon's first effort of this kind. Back in 2010, the carrier launched a similar app store for Android and BlackBerry in the U.S., and it lasted until early 2013.

The Information now claims that Verizon's new effort to launch another app store for Android is a response to Google's recent move to reduce what it shares with carriers and hardware makers for apps sold through its Google Play store. If it had its own app store for Android, Verizon would be able to better cope with future losses caused by Google's strategy. App stores are expected to generate significantly greater revenues over the next few years, which could bring Verizon a pretty penny.

The publication further claims that Verizon wants to use data such as location, time of day, social indicators, and others such, in order to make relevant app recommendations to users.

On the other hand, competing with Google's massive Play Store will be no easy task. Carrier-operated app stores typically fail to measure up to Google's or Apple's slew of offerings, and users also tend to prefer larger app stores. Carriers, however, seem keen on finding a way to push their own app stores.

Sprint, for instance, recently launched its own app store in the form of the App Pass, which comes as a subscription service similar to Netflix. Sprint's App Pass allows users to get apps through a store separate from Google Play, but charges a monthly fee for the privilege.

At the same time, carrier app stores typically come with fewer apps, less frequent updates, and poorer integration with other services that come built-in with the latest smartphones. That's not to say that no other app store besides Apple's or Google's is D.O.A., however. Amazon, for instance, has managed to maintain its own app store for its Kindle Fire lineup, although it doesn't enjoy the same success as larger app stores, and it's not really the same thing as carrier-maintained stores.

If Verizon does indeed go through with plans to launch another app store of its own for Android, the carrier will surely face some challenges in attracting enough developers willing to include their apps in its app store. With everything still in the early stages for now, however, it remains to be seen what will come of it.


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