The Logic Behind Verizon Wireless’s New Low-Tech App

Mobile operators are falling over themselves to offer the latest mobile applications, from GPS services that help you locate your friends to chipsets that let you watch TV. So what is Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) now touting? A remarkably un-high-tech service that lets subscribers send photos from their phone to an album on the Web. The idea is that because nearly all cellphones now have camera phones, the target audience is potentially huge.

The application is not entirely new. The company building it is Seattle-based Ontela, which provides similar services to other carriers such as Alltel (NYSE: AT) and Cellular South. But what’s different this time around is that Verizon Wireless has partnered with another company to offer the service, instead of doing it alone. And the partner is Photobucket, one of the most popular photo-sharing services in the country.

Ontela’s CEO Dan Shapiro said Verizon didn’t want the full responsibility of marketing the application. “It’s a lot of work. They’d have to go and create a brand, and do all the promotions themselves. While they are open to that, it


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