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Summary:

Two dozen of the world’s largest mobile-phone companies, including Verizon Wireless, AT&T (NYSE: T), NTT DoCoMo (NYSE: DCM), Deutsche Teleko…

$100 Million iPhone Apps

Two dozen of the world’s largest mobile-phone companies, including Verizon Wireless, AT&T (NYSE: T), NTT DoCoMo (NYSE: DCM), Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT), China Mobile and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD), are teaming up to create an “open international applications platform,” which is obviously in direct response to Apple’s success with its own iPhone App Store. Release.

The announcement was made this morning at Mobile World Congress. In addition to the 24 carriers, the GSMA and three device manufacturers — LG (SEO: 066570), Samsung and Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC) — are also supporting the initiative. All combined, the group reaches 3 billion subscribers worldwide, making it easily the largest app-store initiative. However, the task will also be exceedingly complicated because of the massive scope and technological barriers in uniting so many disparate platforms and operators.

Called the the “Wholesale Applications Community,” it aims to create a wholesale platform for mobile apps that provides a single point-of-entry for developers. In other words, it wants to solve the massive fragmentation problem. The group intends on using common open standards that will allow developers to create apps across multiple platforms. Those standards include JIL, which Verizon, Vodafone and China Mobile have been working on, and OMTP BONDI. Those two standards are expected to evolve into a common standard within the next year. Ultimately, they pledge to work with the W3C standards bodies to create one solution for developers to create apps and port them across mobile device platforms and operators.

The full list of operators are: America Movil, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, mobilkom Austria, MTN Group, NTT Docomo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica (NYSE: TEF), Telenor, TeliaSonera, SingTel, SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM), Sprint (NYSE: S), VimpelCom and WIND. The four operators in the Joint Innovation Lab (JIL) mobile apps initiative

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  1. If there’s anything worse than apple’s hold of the app store, it is this! Everyone I know hates their carrier more than their phone… so why would this EVER succeed?

  2. This platform could definitely challenge Apple’s hold on the mobile apps market, I doubt that AT&T is part of a union “against Apple’s app store”.

  3. good luck with that guys. Given the past record of most of the carriers in terms of collaboration and standards sharing in the consumers best interest, Id give this a snowballs chance in hell of succeeding

  4. You’re kidding me right?

    So, America Movil, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, mobilkom Austria, MTN Group, NTT Docomo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, TeliaSonera, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint, VimpelCom,WIND, Vodafone, China Mobile, SoftBank, Verizon, LG, Samsung and Sony-Ericsson are all going to get in a room together and come up with a seamless application platform???

    This is a joke right? Right???

    Could someone invite me the project kick-off meeting…I gotta see this.

  5. I am sure that Apple is shaking in their boots with this announcement!

  6. hahaha. I am pretty sure that Apple is really pressured on what solutions to come up with this problem!

  7. So, these greedy anti-consumer dumb-pipe operators suddenly have a change of heart and decide to play nice in the name of consumer interest? Yeah right, tell me about it.

  8. What a complete JOKE.

  9. I’m sure when the announcement was made there were cheers all around. Execs were slapping each other high five and saying to each other, “Watch out Steve Jobs.” And then as soon as everything calmed down, they all said to themselves, “Oh shit.”

    I wrote a piece about this already entitled “Mobile application platform: Can two dozen work better than one?” Read: http://bit.ly/bqRdeG

  10. How many mobile operators does it take to screw in a light bulb? OOPS! Wrong joke!

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