Mobile carriers unite to create a universal app store

February 15, 2010

Mobile carriers unite to create a universal app storeTired of your friends having mobile applications that aren’t available on your phone? The Wholesale Applications Community may be the answer to your woes.

Announced today at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain, a staggering 24 mobile operators (America Movil, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, mobilkom austria group, MTN Group, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Softbank Mobile, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, VimpelCom, Vodafone and Wind) along with three device manufacturers (LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson ) are teaming up to launch a unified applications platform that will share all of its software. Dubbed The Wholesale Applications Community, the new group will be working with the GSMA to come up with a standard platform that will bridge carriers as well as devices.

The hope is that the new standard will ease the woes of applications developers from developing for multiple platforms, as well as making things easier for network operators and  mobile phone users.  With a combined reach of over 3 billion customers, it is going to be quite enticing for app developers to jump on to this new platform once it is developed.

“The GSMA is fully supportive the Wholesale Applications Community, which will build a new, open ecosystem to spur the creation of applications that can be used regardless of device, operating system or operator,” said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board, GSMA. “This approach is completely in line with the principles of the GSMA, and in fact leverages the work we have already undertaken on open network APIs (OneAPI). This is tremendously exciting news for our industry and will serve to catalyse the development of a range of innovative cross-device, cross-operator applications.”

While Apple and its venerable iPhone App Store were never once named, it’s fairly obvious this is a direct reaction to the success the company is seeing with its marketplace.  There is no doubt the app community has been fractured as every company tries to come up with its own competitor, so a truly unified organization only makes sense.  Will it be able to take on Steve Jobs and company remains to be seen.

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2 Responses to “Mobile carriers unite to create a universal app store”

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