27 mobile companies line up against Apple

The Wholesale Applications Community, announced this morning at the Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona, Spain, is basically an attempt by wireless carriers — “operators” in Euro-speak — to turn mobile app developers against Apple’s insanely successful app store, currently being stuffed with tens of thousands of e-books ahead of the arrival of Apple’s iPad tablet on which to read them.

WAC promises to “establish a simple route to market for developers and provide them with access to a customer base of over 3 billion customers.” It’s a blatant pitch against Apple’s approval process for iPhone apps, which frustrates and sometimes chases off app developers.

Here’s the core paragraph from the WAC’s website manifesto:

For the developer, particularly small developers, the alliance will create an environment in which they can flourish and create applications in a straight-forward and effective manner.

Today, the route to market for developers is challenging requiring them to approach multiple operators. The alliance will provide a single gateway for developers to access a vast potential customer base with limited cost to the developer and this in turn will provide the maximum possible return on investment for them.

The WAC’s current member list: América Móvil, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KT, Mobilkom Austria Group, MTN Group, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Orascom Telecom, Softbank Mobile, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor Group, Telia Sonera, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, VimpelCom, Vodafone, and Wind, as well as device manufacturers Samsung, LG, and Sony Ericsson.