The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), a common pool of apps designed to run on multiple operating systems, handsets, and networks, now boasts a membership of 68 carriers including IBM, Vodafone, AT&T, Ericsson, Huawei, Oracle, and SAP. The unified group is an open alternative to Google and Apple app stores, and support is exploding this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The effort, originally announced exactly one year ago at Mobile World Congress 2010, is designed to reduce fragmentation of application stores by providing a single destination in which all participating companies could open their own "storefronts."
Alongside the announcement, IBM revealed a storefront containing 12,000 apps. Ericsson opened a similar storefront.
The move is being seen by many as an attempt to counter major application marketplaces, such as the Android Market and Apple's App Store. Thus far, analysts aren't sure if the platform is ready for head-to-head competition with these leaders, or whether it will be able to successfully attract developers.