As reported by The Information earlier, Verizon was purportedly planning to create a new coalition of wireless service carriers and phone manufacturers in order to launch an app store that would challenge Google's Play Store, according to to unnamed sources. But just recently, Debi Lewis, a spokesperson for the carrier, made it clear that Verizon has no plans to do just that.
According to The Information report, Verizon has allegedly reached out to other carriers as well as to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of mobile devices to talk about introducing an app store to rival that of Google's. Once launched, this new store will supposedly let app developers exploit functionality associated with specific networks, promote their own app creations via the store, and provide users with helpful first-hand information, especially with regards to choosing which app to use for specific purposes.
The storefront was to be used for handsets that run on Android, widely considered today as the world;s most popular operating system used in mobile devices. Of the smartphones sold in the second quarter of this year, a staggering 84.7% of the total number are Android devices. Bearing that in mind, it's plain to see that Google really does enjoy a huge role in the mobile industry, plus the added revenues it generates each time a user buys from its Play Store.
Verizon clearly wants to change that model, that is if the aforementioned report holds true. As stated in The Information story, Verizon aims to break up the dominance of Apple and Google when it comes to the distribution of apps. The two mobile giants currently combine to take more than 96% of the smartphone operating system market as of the last quarter. As Verizon sees it, there's a need to balance the playing field, where consumers and developers get more choices other than those offered by the Big Two of mobile operating systems. In the current setting, app stores can make it difficult for developers to attract attention for their creations.
But with Verizon's new store, the carrier would devise a system that would proactively suggest apps to customers based on certain criteria like location, time of day, or user activity. Carriers, for their part, can offer incentives to developers so that apps (or information about them) can be made available easily and quickly to the users.
The report further said that over the past several months, Google has lowered the percentage of Google Play revenues it gives to carriers and phone makers from 25% to 15%. It used to keep 5%, but now it's gone up to 15%. Meanwhile, Apple earned about $4 billion over the past twelve months from its 30% cut on App Store sales (Google took in $2 billion before giving carriers and phone makers their shares). As the number of Android users continues to grow, carriers and phone makers express fear that Google may decide to keep more of the earnings.
Despite Verizon's statement effectively denying The Information report, Amir Efrati, the author of the article, is standing by his report.
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