> Another Shot In The...Apple?

Another Shot In The...Apple?

Posted on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 | No Comments

Yesterday I wrote about DoubleTwist muscling in on Apple’s iTunes space and offering music synchronisation for Android phones and other branded MP3 players and smart phones on the T-Mobile website. I speculated that it could finally be an end for some iTunes users to free themselves of Apple’s bloated iTunes software.

Today, Google have taken a swipe at Apple too in the phone market. Google Voice – which is not yet released here in the UK, allows you to control all of your telecoms needs and mask it behind a single number. For example, you right one number to contact me and depending on who you are, what number you call from or what time of day it is, I can divert you to my mobile phone, my desk phone, my home phone, all three or straight to voice mail.

The idea is that never again will you have to change your number just because you change one of your phone numbers. Simply update Google Voice with your new numbers and keep your primary master number.

Last summer Google released their Google Voice application for the iPhone – it was approved by Apple and those invited into the beta downloaded and enjoyed the service. Then inexplicitly Apple decided to reverse their decision and pulled the app from the store, blocking any existing copies of the application.

This lead to a number of high profile iPhone users ditching the phone in favour of Android. An FCC investigation was then started involving Google, Apple and AT&T in a bid to try to work out who had pressured who to get the application banned; Apple claimed the app mirrored existing functionality of the iPhone (something which is prohibited by Apple’s terms and conditions - apparently), and AT&T were accused of pressuring Apple to ban it as it replicated the functionality of the mobile network by adding an additional layer of call routing that wasn’t controlled by the AT&T network.

Today though, the story takes on an additional twist – Google have re-written the application as a web service that can be run directly from any smart phone browser – making the need for an application entirely redundant.

This totally laughs in the face of Apple’s AppStore policies and AT&T’s network restrictions – it also opens up the application beyond just the iPhone and Android mobile platforms, allowing Palm and potentially Nokia and Microsoft Mobile phone access onto the Google Voice service.

It also highlights once again Google’s desire to move away from “Applications” and instead offer them as web services that utilise the internet and other cloud based services – which could effectively bring an end to all ‘App Stores’ and wiping out Apple’s App model which has been replicated so closely by others.

The game is changing fast and the existing business models that have served Apple so well these past few years are being challenged and changed again. As always, the Internet marches on relentlessly and existing business models crumble….progress is coming.

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