World Versus Apple

List includes carriers that carry the iPhone

As the Mobile World Conference kicks off in Barcelona Monday, two dozen of the world's largest cellular service providers, along with three device makers, have announced their intent to create a standard platform for mobile-device applications.

It's clearly aimed at capturing the market for smartphone apps that Apple proved could be quite profitable with its App Store for the iPhone.

And among the carriers is AT&T, which provides network service for the iPhone here in the United States, as well providers that offer the iPhone in other countries.

In fact, it might be enough to get AT&T executives booted from the App Store -- which apparently Apple does when you mess with the iPhone.

This should help developers of applications reach larger potential markets without having to re-write applications for every smartphone operating system out there.

But interestingly, there is no mention of any of those operating system developers, which include handset makers like Nokia, Palm, Google and Apple. Nor does Microsoft, which has one of the most popular smartphone operating systems, earn a mention.

And eventually carriers will have to work with smartphone operating system developers if they ever want this project off the ground.

Jackson West will be really surprised if these companies get this act together.

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