The warning bells must be ringing in Cupertino. No fewer than 63 mobile network providers have joined in an alliance to usurp Apple, Google, BlackBerry and the rest. Their application stores are in jeopardy if reports from last week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona are to be believed.
The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) has launched new software tools that will allow developers to sell apps that can be used across devices. According to this morning's Financial Times, companies including Ericsson, Telefónica and Huawei have unveiled new cloud-based stores that "will help house apps outside the existing operator-led app stores."
Only problem is that the developers are totally absent from this large and comfy round table. According to reports, they remain highly sceptical that WAC is "nothing more than a talking shop for telecom operators angry that they are not getting a slice of the revenues from a fast-expanding apps community that is dominated by Apple…. and Google"
It will be interesting to see if developers embrace this new initiative and what effect it will have on the AppStore and Google's Market. Not a lot, I should imagine. The mobile service providers can huff and they can puff as much as they care, but aren't they a little late to the party?