Worldwide Mobile Apps Store Aiming for Apple
Tech titans in the mobile device sector band together to take on Apple in the mobile application arena. But even with the world's largest handheld computer makers supporting the new mobile downloads group, is it enough to take down the App Store? If there's strength in numbers Apple might be shaking in its boots, but don't count on it. Some 24 mobile carriers, including some of the biggest global players with access to more than 3 billion customers worldwide, said this week that they're joining forces on the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), an open platform designed to deliver applications to all mobile phone users. Three of the largest device manufacturers, LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, also said they support the WAC along with the GSMA, the mobile industry group that produces the giant Mobile World Congress trade event where the announcement was made. The iPhone's App Store model has been wildly successful, growing to more than 140,000 applications, albeit limited to the iPhone and iPod Touch devices. The idea has been copied most successfully by the Android Marketplace, which has grown to more than 20,000 applications available on a range of devices powered by Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android operating system. In recent weeks, report have surfaced describing a significant uptick in developer submissions for Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) forthcoming iPad tablet computer, which promises to grow App Store even further.