SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Verizon Wireless will shut down its app store come January. This should come as no surprise as Apple and Google have dominated smartphone app sales.

The days when the cellphone carriers were the primary distributors of applications I think are long gone for the vast majority of users. Historically, carriers were the gatekeepers of their network.

Even before smartphones, there were apps that would run on old-fashioned cell phones, which are now called feature phones. But customers would pay for the app, for example a GPS service, at a much higher price.

KCBS’ Tech Reports:

This shift appears to be more advantageous for the consumer because they have a lot more choice and prices, which in some cases have gone down to zero. Not to mention, smartphone users have a choice of hundreds of thousands of apps.

The downside is security. In the old days, the vendors had complete control. Now there are more players involved. Google doesn’t even vet apps until after they go live.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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