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Apple ambushed in Barcelona

(Rest of Mobile) world tries to storm App Store

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MWC The mobile industry - most of it - has finally got its act together to challenge Apple's dominance of mobile applications.

The "Wholesale Applications Community" can certainly claim wide support - three handset makers, LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, along with dozens of carriers and operators including China Telecom, AT&T, Orange and Vodafone. It is expecting more members in coming weeks.

The group, which claims three billion customers, wants to create a single market place for mobile applications regardless of what platform they run on.

In the longer term the WAC is seeking to create standards to ensure that apps will run on all platforms, it is being supported by the GSMA. It said it would rely on existing standards rather than trying to create new standards.

By making life easier for developers, the community hopes users will benefit from lots more working mobile applications.

Apple has dominated mobile applications thanks to its App Store, which has a less than transparent process for approving apps. If developers don't fit Apple's unspoken laws, they can forget tapping into the lucrative iPhone (and iPad?) market, except for those customers foolhardy enough to jailbreak their handsets.

Whether WAC can really offer an alternative. Operators, and handset makers, have hardly covered themselves in glory with their previous individual efforts to create app warehouses and communities of users. If they haven't been trying to undermine one another, they've usually embarrassed themselves with pathetic attempts to get down with the kids they imagine are the main market for mobile phone apps.

WAC's website is here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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