Verizon has announced through its developer community website that as of January 2013, the Verizon Apps app store will be removed from all Android and BlackBerry devices. The company anticipates completing the removal process by March 27, 2013. The wireless carrier did emphasize, however that business applications submitted to the Private Application's Store for Business will still be available for enterprise customers to purchase and download.
Verizon admitted that most of the apps available through Verizon Apps were already available through other app stores, such as Google Play, BlackBerry App World, and Amazon's app store for Android. From the company's statement:
Verizon set out to create an app storefront, offering device optimization, security and simplicity for developers. Verizon Apps launched in March 2010 - the beginning of what would be an app popularity surge. There’s now a whole new tech landscape in which both consumers and developers can interact like never before. We’re evolving our strategy to further simplify today’s experience and meet the needs of tomorrow.
The company announced that it will be "introducing new merchandising strategies" in the future, starting with the AppLuvr app-sharing app, which it announced back in August. Current Google Play statistics show the app has been downloaded less than 5,000 times for Android devices, and the app is only available for Verizon customers who have Android 2.3 or better on their devices.
The Verizon Developer Community is no longer accepting new app submissions, and apps that require a monthly license check will be some of the first to go. During the "transition" period where Verizon is uninstalling the Verizon Apps software (and presumably putting AppLuvr in its place) developers will still have access to app metrics and reporting, and the company will continue making payments "while the shutdown client is being deployed."