The Wholesale Applications Community is in desperate need of a logo and a new name, but it is at least an interesting idea.
Announced yesterday at Mobile World Congress, WAC (?) is a consortium of some 24 mobile operators who have banded together to — well, I’ll let them explain in their own words:
The primary role and objective of the alliance is to create a ’wholesale applications community’ that will establish a simple route to market for developers, in turn, providing access to the latest and widest range of innovative applications and services to as many customers as possible worldwide. This alliance will deliver scale unparalleled by any application distribution ecosystem in existence today.
The alliance is moving forward with the blessing of the GSM Association who, along with producing MWC every year, seek to standardize GSM-based mobile telephony and services for manufacturers, operators and some 3 billion users around the world.
WAC (ugh) will provide software developers with APIs enabling them to port their apps to multiple platforms — cited examples on their home page include Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile.
For users this means we’ll now have one more place to get apps. I’m not entirely sold on this concept as I’m quite happy with my carrier being a dumb pipe, but I can certainly appreciate the convenience of app store purchases going on my phone bill.
How the Wholesale Applications Community will pan out with the other app stores already out there — the Android Market, Ovi Store, etc. — remains to be seen. The Ovi Store, for example, already has some carrier billing deals in place.
Also, at least 5 of the operator-members sell the iPhone in their respective markets, and Apple historically doesn’t look too kindly on this type of insolence competition.
But there’s certainly nothing wrong with choice, and for what little it’s worth I’m willing to give my own blessing to this rebel app store alliance — hey, now there’s a catchy title…