The strange case of Apple, AT&T and Google Voice

This morning’s Observer column.

The Google Voice team also developed a free App ie, application to run on the Apple iPhone. This would enable all US iPhone users to access the cool services above. The team submitted the App to Apple for approval in the usual way, only to have it rejected. Then Apple went even further: it deleted from the App Store two similar programs, GV Mobile and VoiceCentral, which had been there for months.

The VoiceCentral author got a call from an Apple functionary, who said, "I'm calling to let you know that VoiceCentral has been removed from the App Store because it duplicates features of the iPhone" – and absolutely refused to discuss the matter further.

At the moment, nobody really knows what lies behind Apple's intransigence. But conspiracy theories abound…

LATER: Jason Calcanis has published a terrific essay: “The Case Against Appleā€“in Five Parts”. Great stuff.