Apple jettisoning Google Voice from App Store

Latest brouhaha over iPhone likely to be a doozy; speculation points at AT&T

Google Voice-enabled applications -- including one from Google -- are getting the bum's rush out the back door of Apple's App Store, according to reports from various bloggers and news organizations.

Developer Sean Kovacs posted to his 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...

Conventional wisdom appears to be coalescing around the notion that Apple may not be the major impetus behind these actions. From a post late last night on AppleInsider:

But while individual removals aren't uncommon, later reports surfaced that Apple had pulled VoiceCentral, another competitor, and had even denied Google when it tried to quietly submit a Google Voice app six weeks ago -- a rejection uncommon for a company whose partnership with Apple normally gives it better-than-usual insight into the app development process.

The systematic disappearances don't have a larger official explanation but, given the common thread of their using the same service, is now thought less to a matter of Apple guarding its built-in features and more cellular carriers pushing it to keep the service out. Google Voice not only lets users provide one virtual phone number to call multiple real phones but greatly reduces the cost of outbound long-distance and messaging, all of which potentially deprive AT&T and eventually other carriers of possible extra revenue.

Apple and AT&T have some explaining to do.

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