A number of mobile firms from across the world have joined forces to fight Apple’s monopoly on the app store experience.
The Wholesale Applications Community wants to make it easier for developers to build their apps, “irrespective of device or technology,” the group said on its website. The open platform aims to claw back some of the market share gobbled up by Apple’s App Store.
The 24-strong group includes O2, Orange, China Mobile and Sprint and hardware manufacturers like LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.
Apple’s App Store contains over 100,000 apps and has registered over 3 billion downloads, so it’s no surprise to see other firms wanting to get in on the action. Gartner believes that app spending will hit $6.2bn while downloads will reach 21 million by 2013, generating $30bn in revenue.
The group aims to create an open global alliance, providing developers with greater freedom to create the apps they want to and removing the need to re-write it for each store.
Supported by a user base of over 3 billion, the alliance is looking to “unite a fragmented marketplace” dominated by the Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia.
“Today, the route to market for developers is challenging requiring them to approach multiple operators,” group said. “The alliance will provide a single gateway for developers to access a vast potential customer base. In addition, the alliance will utilise existing technical standards, rather than creating new ones to allow developers to access operators’ assets, for example network capabilities or API’s (Application Programming Interfaces) more easily. In practice this means that developers will only have to create one version of their application and this can be used on multiple types of devices and operating systems (such as Symbian, Android, Windows etc) which is not the case today.”
The announcement comes as Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona. The mobile industry’s annual shindig will play host to over 1,300 companies and 50,000 people are expected to visit MWC over the next few days.