Try as Verizon might, there’s no catching up to Apple’s App Store. With more than 100,000 apps, and over two billion downloads, Apple enjoys a huge head start in the development and sales of smartphone applications. But that doesn’t mean the other companies won’t try with their own app stores. Apps are big business these days. As more and more people turn to their smartphones for everything from interacting on social media sites like Twitter, to mobile banking, applications are bringing in a lot of revenue for handset makers, wireless carriers, and developers. Apple gives 70 percent of app sale profits to the developers, and keeps 30 percent for itself, a model other app store creators are following. Verizon is the most recent addition to the application store boom.
The carrier launched its V Cast Apps store today via the Web, but it will also be available on a limited basis on certain Research in Motion (RIM) devices, starting with the BlackBerry Storm. The downside, which may irk many loyal BlackBerry users, is that RIM’s own BlackBerry App World will no longer come preloaded on the device.
One advantage, though, is that rather than having to pay for each app via PayPal, as BlackBerry App World is currently set up, users can select apps from the V Cast store, and the cost will be added to their monthly wireless bill. Verizon has also stated its intention to market apps on its Web site, giving the apps—and their developers—a sales boost. With as much traffic as Verizon’s site sees every month, that could mean a big difference in the number of downloads, and the amount of profit.
Verizon will continue to add devices, and applications, to its V Cast store in the coming weeks and months, and plans to extend beyond BlackBerry to Palm, Windows, and Android devices.