Apple’s success with the iPhone and the explosion of activity surrounding its App Store has driven other handset makers, including Nokia and RIM to reveal plans for their own stores – and has thrown a firework under mobile application developer’s chairs, who find themselves busier than ever – and they’re thankful.

Internet News reports Albert Chu, vice president of global marketing and alliances for mobile software developer, Access Systems, is over the moon at the new entente between mobile makers, carriers and developers. Apple has driven a liberalisation in the market that – realistically – has opened up opportunity across the whole sector.

Chu said, "Our key customers are saying, ‘Make our phone like the iPhone’. There are a lot of things we’ve been trying to sell them in terms of touch and other ideas we’ve tried to peddle, but these are pretty conservative companies. The iPhone has been a disruptive force."

At HP too, the iPhone bell is callinlg, with product marketing man Kurt Kruger remarking, "Thanks to Apple for raising the bar to the mobile operators around the world and helping them really understand that they need to evolve their business practices a bit."

(And yeah, there’s continued rumours HP plans its own iPhone competitor, though there is a danger we’re seeing a repeat of the iPod here, with all devices not being an iPod eventually lumped into a pile called ‘failed iPod killers’. History repeats itself, after all).

Returning to the Internet News report,"Because of Apple’s success, "every platform will have a centralized distribution for applications," said Greg Yardley, CEO of Pinch Media, You’ll see a variety of App stores."

The evolution of touch and mobile application development is very real. As we reported yesterday (‘South Park App’s a comedy as iPhone gold rush booms‘), the mobile ads market’s about to grow into a $12 billion business by 2012, up $10 billion on what it’s worth today. And that’s the cash that’s driving developers to get into mobile right now. And a criticism really of the mobile sector, which somewhat complacently required the entrance of Apple into the business in order to rise to the challenge of innovation.

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