UPDATED: Apple Rejects Removes all Google Voice Apps for iPhone from iTunes App Store
DaringFireball claims as source has confirmed that Apple pulled Google Voice apps at the request of AT&T. GigaOm, by contrast, wonders why AT&T would ban Google Voice (and Skype, and SlingBox) on the iPhone and allow them on BlackBerry, for example. We don't know of course, but we guess nothing else scares AT&T like the iPhone -- it's the first multi-million selling consumer smartphone success, people actually use its features, and it hits their balsa-wood network like a freight-train. -Rene
ORIGINAL: Apple has systematically removed and/or rejected all Google Voice apps for the iPhone (and iPod touch) from the iTunes App Store, whether by Google themselves or by third party developers.
Rejection is something we've all become very familiar with since the inception Apple's App Store. However, Apple picking off the two Google Voice applications that were already available in the App Store (GV Mobile and Voicecentral) along with flat out rejecting Google's official application, is something else.
It all started with Sean Kovacs' GV Mobile client, which originally became available last week (according to Kovacs after being approved by Apple VP Phil Schiller himself), being yanked from the App Store for allegedly duplicating the iPhone's calling and text messaging features. When Apple contacted Kovacs, no specifics were given on what needs to be changed to get his app back into the store and Kovacs claims Apple refused to send an e-mail to confirm that GV Mobile was yanked. The following is from Kovacs blog:
Richard Chipman from Apple just called - he told me they’re removing GV Mobile from the App Store due to it duplicating features that the iPhone comes with (Dialer, SMS, etc). He didn’t actually specify which features, although I assume the whole app in general. He wouldn’t send a confirmation email either - too scared I would post it. I’ll see what I can do to get it back up there gang…
Voicecentral has since also disappeared from existence within the App Store. They have been less vocal as there is not a single mention of the disappearance on their website.
Is this Apple's doing or more of a carrier-forced rejection? TiPb thinks the carriers are pulling Apple's rejection strings on this one as Google Voice has the potential to hit the carriers where it hurts - free SMS messages, cheaper phone calls, etc...
What do you readers think about these rejections?