Wholesale Applications Community announces commercial launch at Mobile World Congress 2011
Date: Tue, 02/15/2011 - 10:31
Celebrating its first anniversary at Mobile World Congress, the Wholesale Applications Community (WAC) announced the commercial launch of the organisation. At a press conference, WAC CEO Peters Suh will be joined by a number of CEOs from the organisation’s 68 member companies as he unveils WAC-powered storefronts, demonstrates WAC-compliant handsets and web applications, and provides a view of future developments in WAC.
“In the one year since WAC was initially formed at Mobile World Congress 2010, we have achieved a great deal, delivering against our committed timelines and objectives every step of the way,” said Peters Suh, CEO, WAC. “Working together in a unified manner as an industry, we are having a positive impact on the mobile application development ecosystem, providing developers with a simplified method of creating applications and content, and delivering them across operator, handset and operating system. With the commercial launch of operator storefronts, handsets and applications, all based on WAC, we can say that WAC is now officially open for business.”
Leading mobile operators from around the world, including China Mobile, MTS, Orange, Smart, Telefónica, Telenor, Verizon and Vodafone are announcing at Mobile World Congress that they are connected to the WAC platform, while the initiative boasts support from mobile phone manufacturers Huawei, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and ZTE. Of the handset manufacturers, both Samsung and LG will be further driving uptake of WAC by ensuring that all devices produced by the two companies that are capable of supporting the WAC runtime will do so.
WAC also today announced that Ericsson has developed and is launching a white-label WAC-enabled storefront that can be easily customised to enable operators to quickly and cost-effectively launch their own WAC storefronts. Further, WAC announced that thousands of web applications are currently available in the WAC-enabled storefronts, including many popular applications and content that end users are downloading today.
The handsets and storefronts launched today are based on the initial WAC 1.0 specification, published in September 2010. WAC also announced the availability of the WAC 2.0 specification, which supports HTML5 web applications with rich multi-media capability, providing developers with an increased set of mobile-specific functionality including file system, calendar and orientation.
Critical to the success of the Wholesale Applications Community is the interest shown by the major brands globally. The success of WAC will be measured not only by take-up from operators, handset manufacturers and end users, but also by the uptake from the developer community and the applications they develop for today’s market-leading brands. WAC 3.0, which will be available in September 2011, will allow these brands to deliver even more compelling applications, as developers are able to unlock backend network assets including in-app billing and user authentication.
To demonstrate the benefits of this, WAC today will showcase a WAC 3.0 application developed in conjunction with a leading US-based television network. The application will feature compelling video and music content including ringtones, social networking, messaging and ticketing capabilities. Critically, the application is specifically designed to take advantage of select network APIs, such as user authentication and in-application billing, providing users with the ability to sign in easily and allowing them to make purchases simply and effectively while within the application.
In a statement of future direction, WAC announced that it will enable applications from alternative applications development environments to make similar use of these network assets. This approach is consistent with WAC’s goal to reduce fragmentation in the application market and will provide value to applications ecosystems across the mobile industry.
“The demonstration of an application from a major consumer brand, combined with WAC-compliant handsets and WAC-powered storefronts, provides valid proof points to the work undertaken by WAC since its inception,” continued Suh. “WAC provides the mobile industry, and more specifically, the mobile application development community, with an effective way to simply and efficiently drive the development and deployment of ground-breaking applications.”