Verizon's New Strategy and its Effect on Mobile Media

This last Tuesday Verizon outlined a new more open strategy to supporting "any application, any device" that meets their minimum technology requirements on their network by 2008. This dramatic move also offers that "any application the customer chooses will be allowed on these devices. "

The Verizon Wireless President called this "a transformation point in the 20-year history of mass market wireless devices – one which we believe will set the table for the next level of innovation and growth.”

With this new strategy, Verizon seems to be seeing that the benefits from being more open with their platform outweigh those of trying to maintain a more rigid, more controlled "closed garden" model.  

Some analysts believe that this move will broaden the number of "officially supported" devices on the Verizon network from what it is today (around  50 handsets) to somewhere more than 500 once developers have really begun taking advantage of this new offer.  I'd suspect that this would include many new devices that are not primarily voice based based, but that are pure data devices.

These new more broad pool of officially supported devices would then have to compete on offering a better consumer experience, and new and innovative features. 

 And this speaks to an overall trend we've highlighted before on this blog about "smartphones" getting smarter... and continuing to grow into full fledged media devices.