Verizon Wireless plots its own V Cast Android market: The move should be welcomed

Verizon is accepting applications for Android apps in its V Cast marketplace, which today only sells mobile software for the BlackBerry platform. Is this really some encroachment on the Android market?
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Verizon is accepting applications for Android apps in its V Cast marketplace, which today only sells mobile software for the BlackBerry platform. The larger question is whether Verizon's move really indicates some encroachment on the Android market or just provides more distribution and better app filtering. The scuttlebutt today drips of overreaction about Verizon's move. Android and Me notes that V Cast started taking Android submissions, a fact that's verified on Verizon's forums. These Android apps aren't on V Cast yet, but are likely to appear later this month at Verizon's developer powwow.

Verizon said on its developer community:

V CAST Apps is now accepting applications for Android. If you're one of the thousands of Android developers worldwide, this is your opportunity to share your applications with America's largest wireless network. Please note: If you have submitted an application for a RIM device, and would like the same application launched on an Android device, you will have to re-submit the application concept for Android with an upgraded version number. For example: If you submitted VDC App 1.0 for the BlackBerry Bold, you will have to submit a new concept for Android under the name VDC App 2.0 Looking forward to your V CAST Apps Android concept submissions!

Android and Me's Taylor Wimberly notes that Google hasn't done much with the Android Market so maybe Verizon will get the company in gear. If not, Verizon is providing a service by actually having a submission and approval process. In any case, Wimberly is a bit confused because Google "has played favorites with Verizon, and I can’t imagine that Google welcomes a competing app store to the official Android Market."

Others have gone on the Verizon "is screwing up Android" meme. While TechCrunch has a great headline noting Verizon is kicking Google in the apps it's a bit of a stretch. So Android apps will be on V Cast. Big deal. V Cast is just more distribution for Android apps. Meanwhile, the Android market is the wild west anyway. You can have the wild west and a walled garden running side by side.

In addition, Google isn't likely to freak out. Remember when V Cast opened business for the BlackBerry platform? Research in Motion said that Verizon was just providing more distribution. It's about the ecosystem and the more apps on a particular platform the better. And at last check RIM's App World didn't explode just because Verizon was selling apps. And developers may want more distribution for their Android apps. Verizon brings perks like carrier billing to the table with a 70 percent revenue share. In other words, developers may have a better shot at making money with Verizon than the Android Market.

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