Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) is an allegiance of telecommunications firms and others working together to create a common mobile platform. The goal of the group is to simplify the mobile application process for developers, allowing them to deploy mobile apps across all member networks simultaneously. Or more simply put, it's an effort to build a global mobile app store.The
Now the group has just added 10 new members. And more importantly, it says that it will announce details of its commercial launch in a matter of days.
WAC, which formed at last year's Mobile World Congress, was initially composed of 24 mobile operators. At the time, many doubted whether or not this "global app store" approach would arrive in a timely enough fashion to truly compete with the growing juggernaut that is the iTunes Store, not to mention newer competitors like the Android Marketplace, which now hosts approximately 200,000 apps itself.
But later in the year, WAC partnered with JIL (the Joint Innovation Lab), an organization with similar goals. When the merger completed, WAC released the WAC 1.0 specification, based on JIL's specs. Apps using this new standard will be able to launch in all WAC members' app stores, the group said.
Now, in advance of the announcement regarding WAC's commercial launch plans, the organization has again added members. The 10 new additions bring the total count to 68. Today's new members include Adobe, Amdocs, Eyeline, HP, IBM, Minigate, Neustar, Panasonic, SAP and SanDisk.
"Each company will bring its own unique level of expertise that will support WAC in providing solutions that will accelerate and expand the market for applications and provide greater choice for consumers," the organization said by way of its press release.
Commercial Launch Plans Revealed Next Week
The bigger news, however, is that WAC will finally announce its commercial launch plans at next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In attendance will be several CEOs from its member organizations.
As a reminder, some of the notable names on its member list include Accenture, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Qualcomm, Samsung, Alcatel-Lucent, Fujitsu, LG Electronics, Aplix, LiMo, Oberthur, Opera, Oracle, ZTE and, of course, dozens of mobile operators.
Will WAC being launching at Mobile World Congress perhaps? How many developers will soon embrace WAC 1.0? Will WAC be able to compete with Apple and others? We'll know more next week -stay tuned.