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27 firms promise common rival to iPhone's App Store

updated 09:00 am EST, Mon February 15, 2010

Wholesale Apps Community takes on Apple

The GSM Association today unveiled an alliance for a common app store platform meant to challenge Apple. Known as the Wholesale Applications Community, the service will create an open, standard way of developing and selling apps across multiple phone operating systems and networks. The partnership will include phone builders LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, as well as 24 major carriers that include all four major US networks and major internationals like China Mobile, Orange and Telefonica.

Development will primarily hinge on a mix of the Java Intermediate Language and the Open Mobile Terminal Platform that should become a common standard within a year.

GSMA explains the move as a bid to avoid "fragmentation" in the mobile app industry, where different operating systems have led to many apps only being available on some platforms and in some cases only for certain carriers. It specifically creates a more united front against Apple, whose App Store is currently the largest in the world and in some cases has been softening or even stealing smartphone market share from the three hardware manufacturers in the WAC partnership.

Whether or not it will succeed is uncertain. While Java is used to some degree across Android, BlackBerry, BREW, Windows Mobile and other mobile phone operating systems, the implementations don't necessarily make development straightforward. Many also need OS-specific code to take full advantage of native technology.

By Electronista Staff


  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000


    Challenge them how again?

    Their ain't no way to get your apps on the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad holy trinity so there's no challenge at all.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005



    27 people collaborating on writing a screenplay vs. Steven Spielberg by himself
    27 people collaborating on writing a symphony vs. John Williams by himself
    27 WAC'ed-out companies vs. Apple by itself.

    Genius is typically the act of an individual; incredible stupidity can usually be traced to a committee.

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999


    What century?

    What century do they think they're in if they believe that Java is the answer to some form of platform agnosticism? There is only one thing that is uniform about Java and that is that it "almost" works on many, many platforms and is pretty sh*t on all of them

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jan 2000


    Whether or not it will succeed is uncertain.


  1. Fonejacker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010



    Foe Hammer, you are so, so, so right, you made me laugh out loud, superb, "incredible stupidity can usually be traced to a committee." It reminds me of our civil servants. How long will it be before the arguments, squabbles start? After 1 day, or 2. Place your bets people. This has disaster written all over it.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    It'll take 27 firms to equal

    Apple's 1 App Store. Maybe more.

    Some competitor companies were originally saying that the App Store wasn't all that big of a deal. Most of the smartphone industry has changed its tune. The App Store is the place to be and Apple got a huge jump.

  1. juraiprince

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006



    Foe Hammer, you are so right! Include all 27 of the ENORMOUS EGOS that will be in that room! Each one being RIGHT!

    To be a fly on the wall in THAT room would be HILARIOUS!!

  1. papercode

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2002


    Wholesale Applications Community

    or, WAC, for short.

  1. godrifle

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    That's just...


  1. Stuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Feb 2005


    27 Companies...

    ...late to the party. As usual, as soon as someone innovates, the legions will copy. And since none of these companies on it's own is as innovative as Apple, they have to "gang up" to show their true capability. Well, good luck! Apple has the model, stop whining and join the established way!

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