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Verizon abandoning its app store in favor of curation

Verizon abandoning its app store in favor of curation

November 5, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Responding to how consumers are now downloading apps/games for their phones, Verizon Wireless will shut down its proprietary mobile app storefronts for Android and BlackBerry devices.

Just several years ago, before iOS's App Store and Android's Google Play (previously Android Market) took over as the dominant shops for mobile applications, carrier-specific storefronts were the primary hubs that consumers would turn to for finding and buying new apps on their feature phones.

As smartphones grew in popularity, carriers and device manufacturers created their own app stores that would come built-in with their phones, offered alongside the operating system's official storefront (though in the iPhone's case, Apple does not allow other shops to compete with the App Store).

Two years after launching Verizon Apps for Android and BlackBerry devices, Verizon is now abandoning the idea of a carrier-supported app shop and will close the service in January. Now Google Play, BlackBerry App World, and Amazon's Appstore for Android devices will have one less competitor to contend with. It's also one less store developers will need to consider releasing their games to.

"There's now a whole new tech landscape in which both consumers and developers can interact like never before," the company said in a statement posted online. "We're evolving our strategy to further simplify today's experience and meet the needs of tomorrow."

But Verizon isn't completely leaving behind the app pushing business -- the company will be "introducing new merchandising strategies" such as AppLuvr, its Brand Mobility-developed app that looks to help solve the discovery problem for Android smartphones and tablets.

Recently released to Google Play and Facebook, AppLuvr curates games and apps, and helps customers find what titles their friends are playing. Verizon hopes to make the app discovery service available across a variety of carriers, social networks, and devices.

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