Verizon Wireless store

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Mobile


Verizon threw cold water Wednesday on a report that it was in talks to set up another app store.

The Information reported that Verizon was talking with would-be partners about a marketplace designed to rival the Google Play storefront.

“We have no plans to do that,” Verizon spokeswoman Debra Lewis told Re/code. “Been there. Done that.”

In response, The Information’s reporter, Amir Efrati, tweeted that he and the site “stand by this report 100 percent.”

Verizon last year shuttered its homegrown Verizon Apps store. That venture was itself a revamp of an earlier effort, known as Vcast Apps.

The appeal of setting up another app store — both in countering Google’s power and in the potential for generating revenue — has proved alluring in the past for carriers and device makers alike. However, such alternative storefronts have proven tricky to maintain and curate, and have had trouble attracting customers.

Carriers have a billing relationship with customers, though in some areas Google also works with carriers to offer direct billing for app purchases. Hardware makers have also tried to leverage their connection with consumers, but their main influence has come from the apps and services that they deliver preloaded on devices.

In some markets, particularly China and Russia, third-party app stores have flourished, largely because so many devices don’t use Google’s official apps or store. Amazon, meanwhile, has managed to build a credible alternative that replaces Google’s store on its Kindle Fire devices and is also offered as an alternative store option on some other Android devices.

For the most part, though, consumers have generally preferred the default marketplaces, even if they are a bit crowded and hard to navigate.

On the iPhone, Apple leaves little room for alternatives, with the App Store a necessary component to get new apps. Some other marketplaces have emerged as recommendation engines, but even there the final sales go through Apple.




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