updated 01:55 pm EDT, Wed March 19, 2008
Verizon Open Dev. specs
As promised in February, Verizon Wireless has begun its Open Development Device Conference, explaining how third-party companies will be able to bring their own phones and services onto the network without having them directly integrated. In theory this may render Verizon into something more closely resembling an Internet service provider, as opposed to its current scheme, in which phones must be strictly customized and can only operate on first-party pathways.
Verizon explains that in order for a phone or other device to be supported by the company, it will primarily have to meet a set of minimum technical requirements, which are claimed to be very low. It will be up to device makers to market and distribute their products, a switch from the standard industry practice of marketing both a phone and a network at the same time.
Businesses wanting to run services on Verizon's network will have to choose either a direct deal, or to buy wholesale minutes and bandwidth, reselling them to people under different brands. This will also be the only way unofficial devices will receive a discount, as all others will cost their full retail price.
Notably, developers and operators may be able to put any application on a phone they want, although the details are still being debated. If such a policy is fully enacted, it will make Verizon phones more open than the competing iPhone platform from Apple and AT&T, which restricts access to functions such as music playback.
The first open-format phones for Verizon are expected to be certified by the end of the year. [via The Wall Street Journal]