Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) has joined the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL), an initiative set up a year ago by Vodafone (NYSE: VOD), Softbank and China Mobile to create a single global platform for developers to encourage the creation of a wide range of innovative and useful mobile widgets. The widgets will improve the mobile internet experience on smartphones and low-end handsets.
Of course, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone anyway, so I’m not sure how much extra expertise it’s bringing. However, the addition pushes the group to about 1 billion customers covered, and now some in the US market. JIL plans to launch a range of tools later this year including a common mobile widgets specification; easy-to-use developer kits; and an online repository, distribution and payment mechanism to ensure developers can roll out their products to customers in more than 70 countries across North America, Asia, Europe and Africa.