Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Apple Silences Google Voice On the iPhone

There we have: more proof that the traditional carriers are very afraid of Google Voice. Now that Google Voice is starting to add new users rapidly, the traditional carriers are waking up. As a result the existing 3rd party Google Voice app for the iPhone has been removed from the iTunes store and Apple is not accepting Google's own voice app for the iPhone. Even though this same Google app already exists for the blackberry and the Android phones.

The official reason that Apple is giving is that this app duplicates functionality that already exists in the iPhone's native apps. This is true, Google voice allows you to make free long distance calls in the USA, send free SMS/text messages to anyone in the USA and make really cheap international calls. But then so do any of a dozen or so VOIP applications that are available on the iPhone already, the most popular one being Skype. Google has responded that they will look into making a browser based version of their application, and then there will be no way that Apple can block the usage of Google Voice short of legal action.

So why are carriers running scared? Well first of all there is the power of Google, nobody wants a giant like this to step into a market. Google seems to be undercutting prices for long distance and international calls as well as for sending SMS/text messages. Especially text messages are currently a gold mine for the carriers, every teenager has a need for texting if they want to keep up with their peers. Google Voice offering free texting means that fewer parents of teenagers will be forced to get an unlimited texting plan. And this explains why the carriers didn't bother blocking the Google Voice app on the blackberry and the Android phones: these phones unlike the iPhone are not very popular with the teenage crowd.

No comments:

Post a Comment