Verizon Wireless is North America's largest wireless company, but its parent company Verizon Communications has been undergoing some recent trouble due in part to the global recession. The wholesale and enterprise segments of its traditional wireline business aren't doing so well, which means 8,000 of the firm's 235,000 employees will be laid off.
The bright spot is still Verizon Wireless, which has nearly 88 million customers, up 1.1 million subscribers in the last quarter. This is despite AT&T's exclusive carrier agreement with Apple, which allows them to be the sole network carrier for the iPhone in the United States.
Apple has been very successful with its "There's an app for that" marketing campaign for the iPhone, leading to a large application development community eager for a share of the profits in this large market.
To counter that, Verizon is launching the Verizon Developer Community (VDC) conference in San Jose, which it wants to develop into an annual event. Over 500 people are attending this event, with over 100 companies represented. While the focus will be on opening up Verizon's APIs to allow easier development and closer collaboration, some sessions will also focus on sales and marketing of these apps to consumers.
You would expect the traditional speeches from Verizon Wireless executives, but Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Blackberry makers Research In Motion, and Masayoshi Son, the Chairman and CEO of Softbank Mobile, also spoke and gave their thoughts on app development and providing an easily accessible platform.
DailyTech will be providing show coverage, keynote highlights, and a few blog posts from breakout sessions throughout the day.
Verizon Wireless provided airfare and accommodations to the VDC.