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AT&T CEO says App Store is bad for consumers

Steve Sande, @stevensande
February 16, 2011
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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson must be eating some sour grapes since his company lost its exclusive hold on the US iPhone market. During a keynote speech at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Stephenson said that platform-specific app stores like the ones run by Apple and Google are "bad for consumers," as they require a customer to purchase an app multiple times if they want to run it on different platforms.

In the words of Stephenson, "That's not how our customers expect to experience this environment." Oh really, Randall? I'd say that the more than 10 billion apps downloaded on the iOS platform alone would say that your customers are more than happy with the current app purchasing model.

What Stephenson would rather see are HTML5 and Web apps that are not platform-specific. Developers, in Stephenson's perfect world, would write these apps instead of using native code for a single platform and then sell the apps through the newly-announced Wholesale Applications Community -- which just happens to be an app store that will be run by carriers. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint are all partners in the WAC, and the CEOs of these companies are most likely losing sleep over the fact that they're not getting a cut of the billions to be had in the app sales arena.

Non-native apps won't be able to take advantage of device-specific hardware features, and most certainly will not be optimized for a platform. Instead, they'll most likely be cookie-cutter apps that are targeted to the lowest common denominator in terms of hardware.

[via The Mac Observer]

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