“Today, apps are where the action is, and consumers are reaping the benefits.” – Stephen Wildstrom, BusinessWeek

DURHAM, N.C. — “Just in time for the holidays,” says a proud Jud Bowman, the young Triangle entrepreneur who is rolling out another “apps store” to deliver applications for smart-phone users.

In the second release in just three weeks, Bowman’s “PocketGear” launched an app store for Palm mobile devices late Monday night.

In the rapidly changing technology business, timing – not the newest solution – is so crucial to success. Has Bowman caught the wave as momentum in the mobile-phone business builds toward independent apps and away from provide-everything network carriers?

Early indications are that Bowman, the wunderkind who helped build Pinpoint and Motricity before buying Motricity’s smart-phone applications business in June, did in fact make his move at the right time.

While Apple turns the mobile world upside down with its apps story, Bowman is countering with the Palm store. It’s his second, the first being the Android store that launched last month. By picking Android/Google, Bowman and company caught a fast, emerging star. With Palm, PocketGear now aims to exploit an embedded but growing marketplace.

More than 50 million Palm devices already exist, and more are to come. The Palm Apps Store features more than 5,000 applications and supports some 25 devices. Notes Bowman, of those apps, upwards of 1,000 are free.

“More than 1,500 developers have already submitted apps,” Bowman tells The Skinny.

The apps support Facebook, even Encyclopedia Britannica, plus loads of games.

PocketGear is staking out a place as a leader in the apps store marketplace. Stephen Wildstrom, the “Tech & You” columnist in BusinessWeek, wrote in the Dec. 22 issue that “apps are where the action is” in the mobile business.

Rather than carriers providing soup-to-nuts service and applications, wireless offerings will increasingly rely on independent developers and apps stores (such as PocketGear) to meet consumer demands, Wildstrom wrote.

“This shift in power is a bad thing for wireless carriers, whose nightmares of being turned into commodity sellers of bandwidth are coming true,” he added. “But it’s a win for everyone else.”

The winners could include Bowman and PocketGear.

Since June, PocketGear has recorded more than 100 million downloads, has more than 50,000 smart-phone applications and more than 30,000 developers and content providers participating in its programs. PocketGear counts customers in more than 200 countries.

Yes, indeed, it does appear Jud has caught the mobile wave at just the right time.