Verizon has apparently spent the last year watching Apple's App Store and taking careful notes. They're preparing to launch their own app store, built to be used by all Verizon phone owners. This means that Verizon won't allow manufacturers to put their own app stores (like the BlackBerry App World or the Windows Mobile Marketplace) on phones. VZW wants as little competition for their app store as possible.
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The Verizon app store will cross platforms. Currently they have plans to support Windows Mobile, Palm, Android, and BlackBerry. The only one of those that strikes a chord of surprise within me is Palm. Apparently VZW is very confident that they'll be getting access to the Palm Pre within the first few months of 2010.
I'm not sure how Palm is going to feel about that in light of this news. Their App Catalog isn't breaking any records, but it's showing substantial progress. Palm wants to be like Apple, which makes me think they'll be loathe to give up the ability to sell their own apps. If Verizon really wants the Pre, they might end up having to compromise with Palm.
The Verizon Developer Community Conference is July 28, so we should hear more about this new app store afterwards. The Verizon app store will launch before the end of 2009.