24 different mobile communications companies, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint, have announced plans to build a new online 'super store' called the Wholesale Applications Community. This store would apparently provide applications for many different smartphones and operating systems, and would be designed to encourage new program engineers to create programs applicable to a wide range of devices. The decision was announced at the Mobile World Congress 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.
GSMA Chief Technology and Strategy Officer Alex Sinclair says that the decision to start up the Wholesale Applications Community was made in a 'few days or even hours.' The group has already created a web site, http://www.wholesaleappcommunity.com. If the super store really goes forward, it has a good chance of revolutionizing the application industry – as Sinclair points out, the 24 companies collectively have a market of over 3 billion customers to tap into. The new market will make business much easier for developers, who currently have to approach multiple operators, by giving them more direct access to this customer base.
Of course this is in direct response to Apple's highly successful App Store for the iPhone and Noia and other's forming their own app stores in response to Apple. The difference is that if this is a really unified project that works for all the phones from all these manufacturers, it actually might have a chance of changing the market.
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