Apple has rejected Google Voice applications from its iPhone apps store and for the iPod touch under a ban of the Google Voice products. Despite Google Voice applications being readily available for the Blackberry and Android based phones, Apple has yet to approve a Google Voice App for the iPhone, and the reason may have something to do with competition between Google and iPhone’s select carrier in AT&T.
From Claudine Beaumont of the Telegraph
Apple has rejected Google’s official Google Voice app, as well as several applications, developed by third parties, that replicate the functionality of Google Voice on Apple’s devices…
… Two other applications based on the Google Voice platform have also been removed by Apple from its iTunes store. VoiceCentral has disappeared from the store, while GV Mobile has also vanished.
Sean Kovacs, the developer behind GV Mobile, said Apple told him they had removed the application because it “duplicates features that come with the iPhone”.
Google released this statement on its Google Voice and iPhone Apps issues :
Apple did not approve the Google Voice application we submitted six weeks ago to the Apple iTunes Application Store. We will continue to work to bring our services to iPhone users – for example, by taking advantage of advances in mobile browsers.
Why not approve Google Voice for the iPhone? According to the Telegraph, one issue may be a conflict of interest between Google and AT&T, the US carrier for Apple.
The reasons for the removal of the Google Voice applications from the iTunes store remain unclear, but some industry commentators have speculated that AT&T, the iPhone’s exclusive carrier partner in the United States, may have played some part in events.
Google Voice could be viewed as a threat to the key revenue streams of network operators because it allows users to make cheap calls, save money on their text messages, and circumvent the products and services offered by the carriers themselves.
Of course, until Apple and Google and possiby AT&T clean up this mess, iPhone users can access Google Voice via their phone browsers.