The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), a carrier-led effort to deliver alternative development platforms and app stores to rival those from Apple and Google, officially launched today, but the effort remains more promise than threat to the mobile status quo.
Despite some huge names behind the effort, including mobile operators Verizon, Telefonica, China Mobile and others -- as well as major industry vendors like Ericsson, IBM and others -- WAC is likely to have a hard time making up lost ground, despite launching today with eight carrier app stores and what it claims are 12,000 WAC-enabled apps.
More details from of our sister site Connected Planet:
The issue is that those capabilities don’t match what rivals like Apple and Google offer in their app stores and mobile apps today. The Wholesale Applications Community is trying to remedy that, this week launching version 2.0 of the WAC spec — which adds HTML5 and multimedia capabilities — while also promising to add operator capabilities like in-app billing and user profiles in version 3, available in September.
In short, though, WAC remains more about promises to come then competing head-to-head with rivals today. And the bigger challenge: those rivals are a moving target, adding new capabilities by the day as well.
Mobile developers choosing their target mobile platforms are unlikely to even have WAC on their radar today, but that could change if those global mobile operators can successfully throw their weight (and some dollars) around. Consider today's launch a first public effort to do so -- with much more work required.