Verizon Wireless appears to have taken itself out of the app game, announcing on its developers blog plans to remove its app store from BlackBerry and compatible Android handsets by early 2013.
The shutdown process is expected to be complete by March 27 of next year, according to the post, as Verizon begins to remove the marketplace from existing devices in January via a software update. Furthermore, Big Red will no longer load the application on new phones.
Starting this month, the company will begin to send out notices to users regarding the pending shut down, in addition to ceasing support of apps that require a monthly license check, including paid apps and those with subscriptions. Verizon will also no longer accept new submissions for apps starting this month and plans to end monthly subscriptions in apps next month on the renewal date.
First launched in March 2010, the Verizon app store was the carrier’s attempt to cash in on the app craze that came about with the growing popularity of smartphones. Yet, even with additional improvements over time, the platform was unable to compete with more popular stores, such as the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
While Verizon will remove its own software from smartphones, business applications that were submitted to the carrier’s Private Applications Store for Business will still be available to enterprise customers. Big Red also points out that the majority of the apps offered through its app store are also available on Google’s offering, as well as other models.
Despite dropping its self-branded store, Verizon will work to maintain its connections with developers, first by partnering with AppLuvr, a company that claims to help users discover new apps though social connections, next year. The carrier also vows to continue to offer users content through other means, according to the post.