While the openness of platforms such as Windows Mobile, Andorid and Symbian which allow for applications from third party sources is surely to the benefit of the consumers, it sure does make it difficult to find applications not on the primary store. The Wholesale Applications Community as the new venture is called, plans to rectify this.
Despite the closed nature of the Apple iPhone AppStore, it does make it easier to discover applications, since there is only one source. Now a collection of the largest phone operators including Vodafone, and Sprint have decided to make one App store to rule them all.
Besides Apple, there are app stores for and by Nokia, Blackberry, Google and Microsoft. Besides those there are many third party app stores for open platforms, (and even closed ones). With this new venture hopefully the fragmentation will decrease. So no matter whether you a looking for a twitter client for Symbian or a game for Android the good news is that now you have one app store to find them.
With a unified app store, the load for developers is also sure to decrease as, instead of submitting applications for approval separately for each store, this will be one app store to bring all their apps and sell them.
With the increasing number of smartphones, and the increasing number of platforms for the same, there is a greater need for such a gesture. Together the 24 operators cover over three billion customers, which should make this all the more attractive to mobile application developers. Their aim is to have a single open platform for developing applications for all mobile phones, and plan to develop a standard for this in the coming 12 months.