Apple’s App Store is bad for consumers, AT&T CEO says

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson gave a keynote presentation at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday, during which he shared some interesting thoughts surrounding Apple’s iOS App Store. Stephenson expressed some distaste for the way Apple’s application ecosystem is set up at the moment, saying customers shouldn’t have to lose all of their apps if they switch to a device other than the iPhone. “You purchase an app for one operating system, and if you want it on another device or platform, you have to buy it again,” Stephenson said during his speech. “That’s not how our customers expect to experience this environment.” He went on to essentially call HTML5 the answer to the problem — more specifically, the carrier-run Wholesale Applications Community is the answer to the problem. WAC is a Web-based app store of sorts that houses Web apps theoretically compatible with any device that uses an HTML5-capable browser. The apps within will be limited in function for the time being, since only native apps can take advantage of all of the developer tools available for various platforms. That won’t stop carriers from pitching WAC, however, as they continue to search for ways to make money off of the booming economy apps have created. Each of the four major cellular carriers in the U.S. is a member of WAC, so expect to hear about it quite a bit moving forward.

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