Two dozen telephone operators have joined forces to challenge the dominance of mobile app stores, such as the App Store by Apple.
The Wholesale Applications Community, which includes operators such as Vodafone, China Mobile and Sprint, is working to help developers build and sell apps more easily "irrespective of device or technology", it was announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Apple, BlackBerry, Google, Nokia, Symbian and Microsoft all offer their own app stores, but Apple now dominates the app market. More than 3 billion apps were downloaded from its App Store in 18 months.
As a result, app developers often have to create different versions of apps and go through separate approval processes for each individual store.
The Wholesale Applications Community instead aims to offer a single "open platform that delivers applications to all mobile phone users". Its goal is to develop a common standard for applications in the next year.
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Photo: The Wholesale Applications Community is striving to help app developers build and sell apps more easily