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Verizon app store to be mandated; new BlackBerry sells well

post #1 of 71
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As Verizon’s relatively quiet launch of the BlackBerry Tour proved successful, the nation’s No. 1 wireless carrier also stirred up criticism by declaring that all Verizon-sold phones will, by default, have access only to the company’s own application store.

Since the successful launch of Apple’s App Store one year ago, most all major handset models – Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, Palm and Windows Mobile – have come to feature their own application stores.

Verizon, instead, hopes to create a carrier-specific application download destination, run and maintained by Verizon itself. To bolster their own offering, all handsets sold by the wireless carrier will have the Verizon application store installed – and only the Verizon application store.

Based on Verizon’s plans, users who buy a phone will still be able to install the device-specific application store, such as the BlackBerry App World, if they so choose.

In an effort to kick-start their own application store, Verizon has planned an event on July 28 in hopes of courting developers to write software for their platform.

Ryan Hughes, VP Partner Management with Verizon, told GigaOM that the Verizon store will allow developers to tie applications into subscriber data for info about location, or to bill a customer for the purchase of software. Any applications must go through an approval process with the company.

Hughes said that the Verizon app store should be launched to consumers before the end of the year, and more details are forthcoming at the Verizon Developer Community Conference in San Jose, Calif., later this month.

Of course, the prospect of a carrier (and not platform) specific software store would be a major shift from the direction the wireless industry is currently headed. Writing about the news Tuesday, PC World’s Ian Paul speculated: “I think it's a safe bet that Verizon's app store will make it very difficult for the post-AT&T iPhone to make the jump to ‘America's Largest and Most Reliable Network.’”

But the nation’s largest network did find success with Research in Motion’s new BlackBerry Tour, which sold between 275,000 and 300,000 units in its first 24 hours. The device was also released on Sprint’s network, though numbers were not immediately available.

Released on Sunday, the new BlackBerry managed to compare, in terms of sales, with the debut of the original iPhone in 2007 - a product that arrived with a great deal more fanfare.

However, Apple’s recent launch of the iPhone 3GS managed to move over one million units in its first three days.

The BlackBerry Tour sells for $199 with a $100 rebate and two-year contract.
post #2 of 71
Verizon wants to control what you put on their phones. I think one reason they wouldn't do the iPhone was the Apple App Store - they probably wouldn't deal with it. Verizon wants you to pay them for the apps, not some 3rd party. Their apps will probably be crappy too.
post #3 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...handsets sold by the wireless carrier will have the Verizon application store installed and only the Verizon application store.

I guess talks between Apple and Verizon have failed
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post #4 of 71
It's going to be a mess like the ea mobilE games store where you need to know your phone model and a developer nightmare to code for different hardware and software. After the mess microsoft fixed in the last few years with pc hardware verizon goes a step back
post #5 of 71
Screw Verizon.
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post #6 of 71
Quote:
more details are forthcoming at the Verizon Developer Community Conference in San Jose, Calif.

I really want to see photos of that taken by one of the half-dozen developers (or morbidly curious reporters) who attend. I imagine it will be in a small function room in a Holiday Inn (with the main draw being 'Murph And the Magic Tones') holding around twenty chairs and a whiteboard, with most of the chairs being empty.
post #7 of 71
I guess we can forget about a Verizon LTE iPhone. It will give ATT negotiating leverage against Apple once their current contract expires unless they already signed one. If ATT balks, Apple can always do a deal with T-Mobile. In addition, it would be too hard to make a CDMA EVDO iPhone for Sprint. Both these carriers are laggards and would sign a deal.

It would be nice if Apple could just sign in with a wireless data carrier... and then offer unlimited data plans. Anybody wanting voice could do Skype or Fring. Voice is just too overpriced. We need something radical like WiMax.
post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Based on Verizons plans, users who buy a phone will still be able to install the device-specific application store, such as the BlackBerry App World, if they so choose.

Did anyone read this line? If true all they are saying is that only their store app can be installed when the phone is sold but the phone vendors store app can be installed by the customer.

I agree that Apple will tell Verizon "Hell No" if they try to insist on this and my bet it that Verizon would give in. Unless some iPhone killer come out that Verizon is selling there is no way they'll let the iPhone get away from them again.
post #9 of 71
They don't seem to understand that people want LESS to do, not MORE to do with their carrier.

Computer companies/phone makers compete vigorously with new models, lower prices, and choice.

Carriers buy rivals, consolidate, and raise prices, while attempting to strangle their use of networks.

And they pull sh*t like this where they try and force everyone to use their app store (which will suck - which developer wants to write for their cluster of random phone models?)

The sooner networks become dumb pipes, the better.
post #10 of 71
Bad timing on Verizon's part from an antitrust enforcement perspective -- although, there probably wasn't really a "good time" to do this. This will certainly draw the attention of people at DoJ, as well as everyone else currently investigating the wireless carriers.

This is essentially the equivalent of MS bundling IE with Windows to the exclusion of other browsers, and that would have turned out very differently if the DoJ had not been crippled for the past 8 years. Not including alternate app store apps on the devices they sell is an obvious abuse of monopoly power, and a flagrant abuse at that. Well, too bad for them but they will make an interesting test case for the industry.
post #11 of 71
Verizon sucks- last with bluetooth and now last with Apps.
post #12 of 71
IF Apple goes with Verizon at some point, the accompanying revision to iTunes will include the following functionality:

"Upon first sync between your computer and iPhone, the App Store icon will appear on your main screen. Any other online commerce sites will have their icon shifted to a spot in the very lower-left corner, with size reduced to 2x2 pixels, rendered entirely in black."

Seriously, if Apple can face off with China, I don't think they have anything to worry about with Verizon's demands.
post #13 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

I guess we can forget about a Verizon LTE iPhone. It will give ATT negotiating leverage against Apple once their current contract expires unless they already signed one. If ATT balks, Apple can always do a deal with T-Mobile. In addition, it would be too hard to make a CDMA EVDO iPhone for Sprint. Both these carriers are laggards and would sign a deal.

It would be nice if Apple could just sign in with a wireless data carrier... and then offer unlimited data plans. Anybody wanting voice could do Skype or Fring. Voice is just too overpriced. We need something radical like WiMax.



Tmobile is a joke. On vacation now with my wife, mom and son. Two iPhones, two blackberries and mom's cheapo tmobile cell. My sprint bb curve barely has a roaming signal. Wife's vz bb is also roaming. iPhones are on edge but the speed is faster than 3g in NYC. Laptops have sprint and vz data cards which are painfully slow here in the poconos.

And moms tmobile cell is now saying ATT when you turn it on since tmobile has a crappy network
post #14 of 71
This is exactly why I left Verizon in the first place - they make AT&T look like the nicest corporation in the world when it comes to playing nice with everybody else. Verizon crippled the hell out of my bluetooth and didn't even think about allowing me to sync with my computer without buying some cable and they still didn't have Mac support. Not to mention all their Verizon branded crap was, well, crap. I'm soooo glad Apple went w/ AT&T otherwise it'd be nothing but a crippled mess (and incapable of operating overseas I might add).

Also, FYI, I don't think there will ever be a Sprint or Verizon iPhone - Apple isn't going to waste their money making a Verizon specific and a Sprint specific phone that don't work anywhere else in the world (Sprint is specific because of their chosen 4G protocol)
post #15 of 71
I don't see any point in making assumptions that Apple can't still work with Verizon. People should know by now that nothing is absolute. There is still time before the window for Apple and Verizon to possibly come together and work this out.

It's going to come down to whether Apple wants to grow more via other carriers or how badly Verizon wants the iphone.

Much of this also hinges on the direction the company goes with how well the company could provide service with iphone type users. My guess is that Verizon's store might be more about control of the type of app available than making a buck. Consider what we're seeing with AT&T and the iphone in how AT&T is being cast as an even more slow company than before in providing good 3G service to all iphone users. It could very well be that Verizon knows how tough it is to ramp things up for that kind of demand and this is their way of taking the bull by the horns before the iphone or any other new smartphones start opening the doors for Verizon to look just as bad at not keeping up with demand.


Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Bad timing on Verizon's part from an antitrust enforcement perspective -- although, there probably wasn't really a "good time" to do this. This will certainly draw the attention of people at DoJ, as well as everyone else currently investigating the wireless carriers.

This is essentially the equivalent of MS bundling IE with Windows to the exclusion of other browsers, and that would have turned out very differently if the DoJ had not been crippled for the past 8 years. Not including alternate app store apps on the devices they sell is an obvious abuse of monopoly power, and a flagrant abuse at that. Well, too bad for them but they will make an interesting test case for the industry.

That all sounds a little too dramatic and I don't think we're going to see this unless a significant number of consumers are affected by it. Keep in mind that app purchases have been pretty insignificant until Apple came along and drew attention to it. The real question might be how the various phone developers feel about this.

BTW, as an aside I can understand your feelings on the justice dept supposedly being crippled the past 8 years but consider from other points of view that...

*Had MS been broken up, we might have seen much quicker and efficient companies created from such a division. Companies that just might have made things alot tougher for Apple to make the progress they did.

*At the time I believe the economy played a role in the decision as at that time it was looking pretty bad and splitting up such a huge company could have had terrible repercussions on the economy.

I use to think that MS got off lucky but since then having considered the above I think it's actually worked out best and at the expense of those riding the MS boat. MS really hasn't done very well in most areas since the final verdict.
post #16 of 71
I'm sure they wouldn't turn away a hypothetical CDMA iPhone for service. They just might not sell or subsidize it.

I mean, if they even so much as threatened to enforce such a decree across all serviced phones, imagine how that would play to the FCC investigation into carrier shenanigans.
post #17 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Screw Verizon.

I think that's the most violent statement I've ever seen you write!
post #18 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

Did anyone read this line? If true all they are saying is that only their store app can be installed when the phone is sold but the phone vendors store app can be installed by the customer.

I agree that Apple will tell Verizon "Hell No" if they try to insist on this and my bet it that Verizon would give in. Unless some iPhone killer come out that Verizon is selling there is no way they'll let the iPhone get away from them again.

You beat me to that. I read this information on another site earlier.

Verizon seems caught in between its well known desire to control, and the new open attitude that Apple started.

With their statement that people could download other stores, Apple shouldn't have a problem. Unless, of course, Verizon tries to force all of Apple apps to be on their own store as well as Apple's.

Neither article I've read on this addressed that question.
post #19 of 71
Verizon is a really good telephone company.

Their other stuff is.... very very lame.
post #20 of 71
If they really want to own and run their own exclusive app store they are on to one loosing strategy. Product specific, or product brand specific is one thing, but across the board? They want to act as a conduit, exerting control but who the hell needs another middleman?
post #21 of 71
It seems that BlackBerry Tour sold better than the "iPhone killer" wannabe Pre. Some "analysts" were quick to note that Pre is in fact directly competing against BlackBerry, not iPhone. Now it seems it falls behind both.

Otherwise Verizon store is a lame idea.
post #22 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadow View Post

It seems that BlackBerry Tour sold better than the "iPhone killer" wannabe Pre. Some "analysts" were quick to note that Pre is in fact directly competing against BlackBerry, not iPhone. Now it seems it falls behind both.

Otherwise Verizon store is a lame idea.

Unlike Apple and Palm, RiM has many devices on many carriers that are desirable. While I don't expect any BB to beat the iPhone for the top selling model for the next two quarters, they will sell a lot more total devices.

AnandTech has some iPhone 3GS articles and a Palm
Pre article that details were the Pre wins and loses. There are some areas that Palm has clearly done better than Apple. Most important to me is the message overlay. Both Android and WebOS have a great setup while Apple's system is too simple, especially now that it includes all the Push Notifications, too. I really hope they are rethinking it.
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post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

Verizon is a really good telephone company.

Their other stuff is.... very very lame.

I agree. I love Verizon's phone service. They are far more reliable that ATT ever was for me. However, they need to learn that they are a network provider, not a software provider. Their attempts to standardize the UI on their phones are misguided, at best. They need to give up some control, and I think they'd find that the can make more money that way.

As far as crippling phones, I understand people's concerns. But with my Verizon phone I can sync with my Address Book contacts and transfer photos between my phone and MacBook Pro...all over Bluetooth. That's really all I need it to do. I'm not sure if tethering is an option, never seriously looked into it. So it does support more Bluetooth profiles than others apparently get with their Verizon phones. That said, how much money do they really make by forcing people to use their network-based services for transfering photos, etc. Is it really so much that it's worth pissing off customers with nickel-and-diming?
post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techslacker View Post

That all sounds a little too dramatic and I don't think we're going to see this unless a significant number of consumers are affected by it. Keep in mind that app purchases have been pretty insignificant until Apple came along and drew attention to it. The real question might be how the various phone developers feel about this.

[...]

I use to think that MS got off lucky but since then having considered the above I think it's actually worked out best and at the expense of those riding the MS boat. MS really hasn't done very well in most areas since the final verdict.

I may have expressed it a little flippantly, but, no, I don't think it's dramatic at all. This will certainly become a factor in looking at antitrust issues in the wireless industry, and it's a clear example of a company using it's market position to monopolize other markets. Certainly RIM and Palm, as well as other phone manufacturers, aren't going to be too happy about this development, and there will likely be pressure from them to bring action, as well as from those looking out for consumer interests.

I'm not as sanguine as you about how the whole MS antitrust case abandonment has gone. And while MS may not seem to have been on the top of its game lately, I think the way the case was hustled off into the shadows certainly did not, nor will not, benefit consumers in the long run. A more constructive outcome might have, for example, led to a situation where the whole HTML5 video mess had never become an issue.

And, I don't think it would have hurt Apple at all. I think the companies that would have been formerly known as MS would have been busy competing in their own arena with potential competitors and would have been even less able to compete against Apple in a meaninglful way.
post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I guess talks between Apple and Verizon have failed

They never happened but people on these sites come up with crap out of their rears in hopes of influencing the outcome they desire.

Anyone who thought Verizon had changed it's tune to make money on Apple's platform was exhibiting wish fulfillment.
post #26 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Verizon sucks- last with bluetooth and now last with Apps.

I am still getting used to this...... but a (belated) welcome....
post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I am still getting used to this...... but a (belated) welcome....

Is that not sarcasm on his part?

Regardless, I much prefer a jokey Teckstud.
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post #28 of 71
See, they have not learned, just another reason you will never see Apple and Verizon in a Business relationship.

Everyday they keep proving to the whole they do not know how to create a successful business relationship or how to create value that people want to pay for.
post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

See, they have not learned, just another reason you will never see Apple and Verizon in a Business relationship.

Everyday they keep proving to the whole they do not know how to create a successful business relationship or how to create value that people want to pay for.

If given the opportunity I they would let Apple control their own App Store and not require the Verizon app store. Smartphone users with a required unlimited data package is a powerful bargaining tool.

PS: If the AT&T/Apple contract really is up next year I think we'll hear rumours about Apple in talks with Verizon, but I think it will only be to scare AT&T into bending to Apple's will even more.
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post #30 of 71
A guy I work with bought one of these new Blackberry Tours over the weekend. One thing I will say about it is that the browser loads pages amazingly fast. Way faster than what I have seen with the iPhone 3Gs. And, they are full websites - not the chinzy mobile versions.

Before any flames begin, anyone who knows me and my posts knows that I am a diehard Apple fan (and I'm going to get my first iPhone at the end of the month), but I'm not afraid to admit it when rivals do something well.
post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

And, they are full websites - not the chinzy mobile versions.

I actually like some of the iPhone specific web sites (especially when they give you the option of that or the full). The Weather Underground iPhone site has, I think, better weather than any of the App Store apps I've tried (Weatherbug, Weather Channel, Accuweather) or the built-in Weather app.
post #32 of 71
I this actually news? My 3 year old Verizon-branded RAZR has been locked like that since the day I got it. All add-on content - ring tones, apps, music, screen savers, etc. - has to be installed via VZ's proprietary "get it now" service.

They actually crippled the firmware so I can't access the parts of the file system where media files are stored.

Does anybody seriously think Verizon is any different for other kinds of phones? Or that they would somehow change for an iPhone?
post #33 of 71
Phone companies should stick to what they can barely provide adequately: phone service. The problem is they keep trying to profit from other services, like ringtones, accessories and applications but are incapable of doing it well. Apple showed everyone how it should be done, and now Verizon suddenly thinks it can be Verizon AND Apple at the same time.

Apple has done to the mobile phone industry what they did to the recording industry. And as we can see with recording companies, they STILL haven't got a clue, so, I guess we'll have to watch Verizon and other phone companies attempt to fail yet again at doing something they have no business doing.
post #34 of 71
"Can you hear me NOW?"

Ummm, apparently not?
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post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

Tmobile is a joke. On vacation now with my wife, mom and son. Two iPhones, two blackberries and mom's cheapo tmobile cell. My sprint bb curve barely has a roaming signal. Wife's vz bb is also roaming. iPhones are on edge but the speed is faster than 3g in NYC. Laptops have sprint and vz data cards which are painfully slow here in the poconos.

And moms tmobile cell is now saying ATT when you turn it on since tmobile has a crappy network

I get what you are saying and overall agree.

However, isn't the point of a vacation the part where you get away from it all - not bring it all with you? Food for thought.
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post #36 of 71
This will not be a problem when it is time for the iPhone to move to Verizon. Why? Because within a year it will be obvious to Verizon that their store is a miserable failure and give in.
post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Also, FYI, I don't think there will ever be a Sprint or Verizon iPhone - Apple isn't going to waste their money making a Verizon specific and a Sprint specific phone that don't work anywhere else in the world (Sprint is specific because of their chosen 4G protocol)

Aside from Verizon being a bunch of controlling twits and Sprint being Sprint, you do realize that there are more CDMA users outside the US than inside, right?
post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

A guy I work with bought one of these new Blackberry Tours over the weekend. One thing I will say about it is that the browser loads pages amazingly fast. Way faster than what I have seen with the iPhone 3Gs. And, they are full websites - not the chinzy mobile versions.

Not a chance. I got the Tour on Sunday and took it back on Monday. It is like being in the dark ages compared to the iphone 3GS. The browser is horrible and pages don't even come close to resembling how they really look- it is not even close to the perfect renderings by the iPhone. Plus, even when you zoom a web page you can hardly read the print- you'd have to have a magnifying glass. It is slow, the trackball does not respond half the time, and you must wade through endless menus to do anything. Finally, the sound quality is just awful. Once you've tried the iPhone it is impossible to go back.
post #39 of 71
This is part of the announcement by Verizon to set up a carrier-based API across all major cell phone platforms with the world's largest carriers with a total of a billion subscribers.

http://www.vodafone.com/start/media_...na_Mobile.html

GSM won the war against CDMA (even though CDMA is technically superior) because GSM has a billion subscribers. This API will win the war --- no matter how technically inferior it may be --- because it has a billion subscribers.
post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by samab View Post

This is part of the announcement by Verizon to set up a carrier-based API across all major cell phone platforms with the world's largest carriers with a total of a billion subscribers.

http://www.vodafone.com/start/media_...na_Mobile.html

GSM won the war against CDMA (even though CDMA is technically superior) because GSM has a billion subscribers. This API will win the war --- no matter how technically inferior it may be --- because it has a billion subscribers.

I don't see how this is supposed to help just one group of wireless standards and hurt the other. Keep in mind that Verizon Wireless in the US is still CDMA-based.
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