Defending Verizon Wireless against Gigaom

I was struck by the criticism from Colin Gibbs regarding Verizons efforts to build their app store strategy.

First of all, Colin is normally gives great insight into the happenings around the industry, and the criticism may feel valid to the web apps developers that Verizon is trying to entice. But the app store that Verizon is chasing is very different then any other in the market.

They are indeed on a quest for the Network API. An elusive creature that adds value to being a Verizon Application.

As our friend Scott Snyder has pointed out in The New World of Wireless, 3G applications were the reason the money was spent by the carriers, and so far web developers have been the only applications of value.

At the end of the day, it may be that this is the best a carrier can hope for us to provide a great Internet experience. But repeatedly people suggest to carriers that they can do more with their role as a trusted service.

At the Verizon developers conference the team from Verizon explained their network API. It was not a strategy for most web developers. Entreprenuers’ in the garage, dorm room, mom’s kitchen, do not want to sit and consider the value of Parlay – X as an API to work with in connecting to Verizon’s systems.

But to those of us who use to work in the legacy of the telco systems where the Work Authorizaion Request form was a declaration of W.A.R. with IT this is an amazing extraction.

I also want to point out, that it may in the end be a necessary path for carriers, as the Network Neutrality debate implicates an ability to show non discriminatory interfaces.

So while I appreciate the goal of apps folks who want to port from the iPhone to Verizon, this is not the goal that Verizon has in mind.