Subba’s Serendipitous moments

August 2, 2009

Who is Google’s rival — Is it AT&T or Apple?

By now everyone is aware of how Apple managed to yank out Google Voice applications from the App Store. iPhone users will not have access to this application. This has caused an uproar in the blog world with some reputed bloggers mincing no words. The mainstream media has been quiet, proving once again that the blogging community is increasingly taking the lead in breaking news.

Unfortunately everyone who is involved — Google, Apple and AT&T have maintained a conspicuous silence.

Google Voice is clearly a major disruption. Through Google Voice, people can have one number for all of their phones, free long distance calling, and free text messaging. Two of these would obviously cut into AT&T’s bottom line, since users would no longer have to pay AT&T’s exorbitant service charges for messaging and cellular long distance.

It also is apparently easier to use than the dialer application from Apple itself.

So, in this case has AT&T been firing from Apple’s shoulder? I would believe so but for the fact that the Google Voice software works on Blackberry and so are other VoIP applications. I am not sure though whether the VoIP applications are allowed to run on AT&T’s networks though I am sure many other devices will be able to run Google Voice applications once Android phones are released in the market, which should be soon.

So, I am not entirely sure that it is AT&T which is exerting the influence to reject the Google Voice application from Apple’s Appstore.

Can it be Apple then? The only plausible claim that Apple can make is that it is a duplication of functionality as far as the dialer is concerned and that it could leave the customers “confused”. Clearly the AppStore is owned by Apple, and what it allows on the Appstore is their prerogative, but yet such a poor defence dents into Apple’s credibility. It cannot use a near monopoly position to thwart fair competition.

So, who is it that wants to block Google Voice? For those who do not know Google’s CEO — Eric Schmidt sits on the Apple board.

I think the players owe an explanation. Does it not become a fit case for the regulator (in this case the FCC) to investigate?



  1. The honeymoon is over and they got back to reality to find that their partner is not who they thought they were. I was expecting this for a long time and was not surprised when this happened. Given the outsized ambitions of both companies it is natural that they will step on each other’s path. Their relationship is one born out of a common hatred for Microsoft than any strategic linking. In the future their war might intensify.

    Oh btw, remember FCC talked nothing when Skype was affected by Apple’s actions, and talking when Google Voice is affected. Talk about power plays.

    Comment by Balaji Viswanathan — August 5, 2009 @ 10:33 am | Reply

  2. As always, thankyou. Excellent post as usual on Google VoIP. Some points to think about here.

    Comment by parkpost — August 17, 2009 @ 6:46 pm | Reply

  3. People don’t realize that BIG MONEY players are making back door decisions to make sure their profits aren’t lost to a new BIG MONEY player because of the accidental forth coming of innovation. Google nor ATT did not anticipate this. Now they are trying to make back door deals before the masses figure it all out. Ask yourself this. Who owns the Internet? Communication companies do. Why should they allow what they own, to be used by other companies, to circumvent the profits that their own infrastructure generates? They blew it by not anticipating this. Now they are trying to play catch-up. This is an example of how technology that moves too fast can bite the big guys if they don’t cover all their bases. This is the short answer to what’s really happening.

    Comment by Jimmy Escajeda — October 4, 2009 @ 7:35 pm | Reply

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