Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Apple Rejects Google Voice

Apple has always ruled the App store with an iron fist, often times rejecting the mundane apps like the fart machine and baby shaker. But not only do they reject the distasteful apps they have also taken a stance to reject apps that are competitive with products are applications they already have.

The company has yet again taken an anti-competitive stance rejecting the Google mobile software program Google Voice from the iTunes App Store.

News of the banned iPhone app first hit the web when TechCrunch published an article Monday quoting a Google spokesperson that said the Google Voice mobile application was submitted to Apple six weeks ago and was rejected. "Apple did not approve the Google Voice application," the Google spokesperson told TechCrunch. According to the report Apple went one step further and pulled a non-Google iPhone app from iTunes called GV Mobile on the basis of the applications duplicate functionality to apps that already come with the iPhone.

Sean Kovacs, creator of GV Mobil, originally said that his app was personally approved by Phil Schiller Apple’s senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing. Apple has since done a 180 informing Kovacs via phone that his app would be immediately removed from the app store.

Speculation has it that AT&T was concerned over the potential for competition and objected to Google Voice. Google Voice could have potentially interfered with the carrier’s business model. Since the iPhone is so heavily subsidized the company has to try to recoup some of the costs. AT&T does so on monthly service charges for voice, data, and SMS. Had Google Voice been allowed the app could seriously cut into AT&T's bottom line.

Of course neither AT&T nor Apple will confirm the reasoning behind the apps being rejected and pulled.

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