Is Verizon picking Google's pocket by launching its V CAST Apps store for Android?

Verizon is launching its own apps store that will compete with the Android Market on its Android phones. Google can't be happy --- it's one more example of carriers getting Android for free, and then figuring out ways to cut Google out of the revenue stream.

The Android and Me web site reports that the Verizon V CAST app store will initially only be available on Android 2.2 devices, but that in the future it may be available on those that run earlier Android versions.

Developers won't have to pay to be included, but they will have to undergo an evaluation and approval process, so that not every app submitted will be listed. Verizon hasn't said how they'll decide which apps get listed, and which get the boot.

Betanews adds that Verizon will get 30 percent of the revenues, with developers getting 70 percent.

This comes on top of another Verizon move that hurts Google --- the Samsung Fascinate Android-based phone uses Bing as its default search engine instead of Google, and other Microsoft services, such as mapping, in place of Google services.

Google gives away Android because it expects to reap sizable revenue from ads that are displayed when Google services are used, so Google loses revenue whenever Verizon or any other service provider replaces Google services with that of a competitor.

In the short run the V CAST apps store, and the replacment of Google with Microsoft services won't cost Google much revenue. In the long run if this kind of thing continues, Google could be in the position of spending substantial amounts of money for development and troubleshooting, while others take home the profits.

For now, though, Verizon and other service providers are free to do what they want with Android, and remain in the driver's seat. It's not clear if it will stay that way in the long run.

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