Introducing the Wholesale Applications Community

As everyone’s eye is on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Series announcement today, news has broke that two dozen of the world’s leading telecommunication operators have formed an alliance to take on Apple’s application store. The announcement of the Wholesale Applications Community is aimed at uniting a fragmented marketplace and to create an open industry platform that benefits everybody.

Three of the worlds largest device manufacturers, LG, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson, have all joined in the movement with carriers such as AT&T, Vodafone, Sprint, and Verizon. The alliance plans to use both JIL and OMTP BONDI requirements to form a common standard within the next twelve months.

"The GSMA is fully supportive the Wholesale Applications Community, which will build a new, open ecosystem to spur the creation of applications that can be used regardless of device, operating system or operator," said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board, GSMA. "This approach is completely in line with the principles of the GSMA, and in fact leverages the work we have already undertaken on open network APIs (OneAPI). This is tremendously exciting news for our industry and will serve to catalyse the development of a range of innovative cross-device, cross-operator applications."

According to the alliance’s website, the objective is to “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.”

Full list of partners in the alliance: América Móvil, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, mobilkom austria group, MTN Group, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Softbank Mobile, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, VimpelCom, Vodafone and Wind.

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15 Comments

"The GSMA is fully supportive the Wholesale Applications Community, which will build a new, open ecosystem to spur the creation of applications that can be used regardless of device, operating system or operator"

I like it.

From the sounds of it, apps won't be tailored to each phone's UI paradigm. Which, while it is great that the app will run anywhere, seems like a huge step backwards. No two OS's at this point have a UI design that is compatible: Android and iPhone are similar-ish, WebOS is way out there, and WP7S even moreso.

Simon said,
From the sounds of it, apps won't be tailored to each phone's UI paradigm. Which, while it is great that the app will run anywhere, seems like a huge step backwards. No two OS's at this point have a UI design that is compatible: Android and iPhone are similar-ish, WebOS is way out there, and WP7S even moreso.

I agree, this is a well-known problem in the desktop developer community. If you do cross-platform stuff, it's always better to then do the non-UI backend portable, but the UI stuff depending on the device.

I get the haunting feeling that this intiative will mean a lot of half-baked applications because of the devs always having to follow the lowest common denominator.

It's an odd, but perhaps desperate, step when the competition (Google, MS, Apple) are all working in the opposite direction - to develop their own operating system for their phones, along with apps to go with it.

Edited by Northgrove, Feb 15 2010, 10:14pm :

Electric Jolt said,
Epic Fail. Dumb phones are already doing this. It is what makes them dumb phones, simply make a cheap phone, then put a dumb simple OS on it, use Java to put all the bloatware trials of games on.

This is absurd and a step backwards. Apps on Window Phone Series 7 will most likely use Silverlight or WPF as it's entire UI is built using Expression Blend and Visual Studio. It will provide animation and multi-touch. Plus, if they really want to do this, it is already in effect, it's called HTML 5. Google is already making fast web apps. Apple and Microsoft are most likely going to refuse to use Java or anything of the sorts. The apps in the AppStore are all Cocoa Touch based. Everything is very complex, both Silverlight and Cocoa, as they are there for a reason. You cannot compete with them on their own platform, no way.

actually yes, well said.

+1

Gotta agree. Can't think of anything else to add but more Java bashing, skepticism about lowest common denominator apps, and a nod that HTML5 is possibly the best direction for an open 'app' market. Beyond that, let MS and Apple wow us with the capabilities of their respective languages that can't possibly be matched by something universal.

I mean this can be good and bad. The biggest issue I see these days is that with so many phones coming up using different OS bases, it makes it tougher for developers. For instance Facebook, how many different facebook apps are there now: Iphone, Blackberry, Motorola, Windows Mobile etc

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