Verizon Wireless Rolling Out App Store Based On Java ME

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Verizon Wireless (VZ) will roll out a new app store run on Java ME, a mobile development platform.

The carrier will open up a Verizon-branded app store — initially on some smartphones — later this year, from what we understand. That could make it easier (and cheaper) for mobile software companies to develop apps for some Verizon phones.

Until recently, Verizon Wireless had been zealously closed, CEO Lowell McAdam admitted at Sun’s JavaOne conference. The company was “overprotective” of its brand, he added. But now it’s going to open up to more apps, and will provide developers with some interesting, proprietary information.

For instance, Verizon will give developers some limited access to its subscriber database: If a contact in your phone is another Verizon subscriber, and you can call them for free via “mobile to mobile” minutes, the app will be able to know that.

Verizon will continue to support Qualcomm’s BREW platform, we understand. We’ll update with more details when they’re available. Sun (JAVA) is having its annual JavaOne conference this week, and its opening keynote is going on right now. (Watch live here.)

Verizon’s McAdam, “will outline his company’s strategic decision to deploy Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME) -based services in its network and offer Java-based services and applications to its subscribers,” according to a Sun press release.

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