Blog Post

Developers: Verizon Wants You!

Two months after saying it would open up its network to other devices, Verizon Wireless is inviting developers to a mid-March conference where they can learn more about building software and devices that will run on its network. It’s an important step, because without people to build devices on Verizon’s CDMA wireless networks, the commitment to openness is just whitewash. And just in case you like your walled garden, the last paragraph of the Verizon release, which touts both the conference and the company’s commitment to openness, is quick to assure folks that it will continue to offer Verizon-approved devices in company stores. Talk about a mixed message.

7 Responses to “Developers: Verizon Wants You!”

  1. An encouraging sign from Verizon… prob’ly see similar moves from the other big carriers.

    Competition continues to heat up and they know they have to find differentiating features to keep subscribers loyal. They also know that the next Twitter isn’t going to come from their internal dev team.

    But, if you’re a developer trying to build a business around a mobile app, your best bet is still to make a generic web-based interface and avoid any kind of carrier tie-in. (Or maybe build it on Yahoo’s new Go platform.)

    If your thing takes off, and you have significant traffic, then the carriers will pay attention and you can cut a good deal.

    But not too much traffic… or they’ll block you :-)

    A bit more on this conundrum:

  2. To add to the mixed message, the conference is for device developers (does this mean OEM’s? – I’m confused). Also, the dialogue seems to be unilateral – according to Verizon’s annoucement Verizon will present its device “standards” (which is contradictory in itself). Is this another way for saying it will impose its requirements on OEM’s? Where then is the openness part? Maybe I’m just confused.

  3. Verizon seems to take a step forward with this, by allowing developers to use their network but I am skeptical just because they will impose so many restrictions that it would make it nearly impossible to take advantage of that offer.

  4. Does Verizon have support for advertising or paid-for products?

    Development costs for such a specific can be really prohibitive. If you can’t convert the program to cash reasonably quickly, then you’re not going to get a lot of support.

    Look to the rise of the Facebook platform for a sampling of this. The tech-savvy crowd would rather build a Facebook app and plug in some ad support to try and bring in some cash. There’s a limited number of these technically-savvy, highly entrepreneurial people available. If there’s no money available in the platform, it’ll be tough to find killer apps.

    Has Verizon at least run a for-money contest for the “best new app”?