Verizon Wireless seems poised to go beyond merely dabbling its toes in the app store waters and finally fully jump into the pool with its VCast Apps store.

VCast Apps to date has operated as a sort of sub-store in the Android Market, listing apps it’s created either entirely itself or through collaboration with developer partners. But according to the Android and Me blog, Verizon is preparing a fully separate app store independent of the Anrdroid Market that would open the doors to a greater number of developers.

The first step taken is outlining a submission process for interested developers. More details may come soon at Verizon’s annual developers conference Sept. 21-22.

Some questions we’re hoping are answered by then include:
- Timeline: When will the new store launch?
- Openness: Verizon’s traditional closed-network approach could make Apple’s approval process look downright lenient.
- Compatibility: While Verizon says it will support any Android 2.2 phone, details on exactly which models is unclear.
In its pitch to developers, Verizon is hyping the following benefits:
- Free to submit apps.
- Carrier billing (which is pretty huge considering other app stores require a credit card).
- Developers keep 70% of sales (pretty standard rev-share).
- Access to Verizon’s consumer data (like location, messaging, etc).

It’s good to see carriers, particularly the famously walled-garden Verizon, get into the app model. They certainly have lots to offer in terms of billing and network features that smartphone providers can’t.

This will be a hot topic of conversation at Billboard’s upcoming Mobile Enteratainment Live: The Music App Summit taking place Oct. 5 in San Francisco. Visit www.MobileEntertainmentLiveFall.com for more information.