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November 06, 2012

Verizon Releases Plans to Shut Down App Store

By Colleen Lynch, TMCnet Contributor

Today, Verizon (News - Alert) announced its plans to shut down its app store completely by March 2013.

The company looks to release apps for its devices using existing marketplaces, such as Google (News - Alert) Play and Amazon, instead of its own separate operation.

The app store, and any apps downloaded from it requiring payment, will follow Verizon’s shutdown timeline, explained by the company this morning in a blog post to its developers.

“Verizon set out to create an app storefront, offering device optimization, security and simplicity for developers,” the post reads. “Verizon Apps launched in March 2010 – the beginning of what would be an app popularity surge. There’s now a whole new tech landscape in which both consumers and developers can interact like never before. We’re evolving our strategy to further simplify today’s experience and meet the needs of tomorrow.”

The company will reportedly alert its customers to the changes in Verizon’s method of sale for apps in January, before initiating the process of the shutdown to be carried out over the next few months.

First, Verizon will cut off software development kits, then the app store itself, and eventually all apps which take payments will be systematically cut until the entire program is finished.

All developers will still be paid throughout the shutdown process, which includes any apps that accept one-time payments, per-download payments, usage-based payments, in-app purchases and monthly subscriptions.

Also in January, Verizon will shut down its “go to market” product for apps, as well as any app updates submitted at that time. App registrations will be deleted as well.

The company does want interest in its apps to continue, however, and as Verizon has millions of customers, developers may be worried that the large audience for its products may shrink as fallout from the switch.

To combat the potential problem, Verizon says it is working on new ways to help its developers reach users by teaming up with AppLuvr, a company designed to use social connections to facilitate the app-finding process for customers.

Edited by Braden Becker
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