Though AT&T has been quiet about Apple in the past when it held an exclusivity with the iPhone for the U.S. market, the carrier had lashed out at Apple at Mobile World Congress over policies about the App Store now that its exclusivity period has ended. The carrier’s CEO Randall Stephenson says that customers should be able to purchase one application and be able to transfer its license and/or use it on multiple devices.
While there has been increased competition between Google and Apple recently–Android v. iOS, Android Market v. App Store, iAds v. Google Ads, and other areas–AT&T may be looking to position itself as a competitor to Apple in some areas, one of which pertains to apps.
Stephenson used the opportunity to promote a carrier app store initiative, which would remedy the woes of the current app store model employed by Apple and Google. Dubbed the Wholesale Applications Community, or WAC, AT&T could sell a license to an app and allow users to take that app with them to any phone supporting the HTML5 browser, essentially promoting paid web apps.
AT&T, along with rival carriers T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wireless are members of WAC.
Web apps are now a new concept. Before Apple decided to launch native apps through its iOS App Store for the iPhone, the company had experimented and urged developers to create web apps in the past. However, at the time, Apple may have targeted web apps prematurely as at the time, apps designed for use in the mobile Safari browser could not take advantage of certain hardware features, like the accelerometer. Now that the app market is maturing, it seems that carriers and developers may be giving web-based apps a second go.
AT&T in recent news is also partnering with OpenFeint to launch a competitor to Apple’s Game Center, which will allow for cross-platform social gaming.
Via: USA Today