We've heard whispers relating to this one for a while, but now VentureBeat (via MacRumors) is putting text-to-screen about it:

Apple, which of course makes the signature multi-touch mobile device, the iPhone, apparently asked Google not to implement it, and Google agreed, an Android team member tells us.

Apparently, Google didn't want to risk their relationship with Apple or the iPhone. Google's CEO is on Apple's board, and Google has been releasing iPhone initiative after iPhone initiative these days.

Same Android team members is said to pleased at how this has turned out, given the recent legal noise around the Palm Pre, which decidedly does use multi-touch in almost identical -- perhaps infringing-ly identical -- manner to the iPhone. Though many behind the Palm Pre, like former iPod czar Jon Rubinstein came from Apple, their relationship is not said to still be as strong.

Check out the full article for more.

So, should Google have agreed to Apple's request to remove multi-touch from the Android? Should Palm? We still don't know the strength of Apple's multi-touch patent portfolio, or portfolio's lined up against it in defense, but if the Pre suddenly ships without the functionality shown in the CES Keynote, will it be a deal breaker for anyone?