As AT&T, Apple, and Google battle it out the Canadian consumer is asleep

by Jeff Wiener on August 22, 2009

googleGoogle, Apple, and AT&T have been feuding over the last couple of weeks over what seems like Apple’s denying Google Voice Apps on the Apple App store. The US Government’s FCC has gotten involved, the press, consumers … and both Apple and AT&T have been forced into explaining their positions on the issue. With AT&T’s recent statement claiming they had no involvement in the matter it now looks like Apple is being pressured to explain.

AT&T released a statement yesterday stating:
“To that end, let me state unequivocally, AT&T had no role in any decision by Apple to not accept the Google Voice application for inclusion in the Apple App Store. AT&T was not asked about the matter by Apple at any time, nor did we offer any view one way or the other.

“AT&T does not block consumers from accessing any lawful website on the Internet. Consumers can download or launch a multitude of compatible applications directly from the Internet, including Google Voice, through any web-enabled wireless device.

Now it’s Apple’s turn to explain. Consumers are upset and something’s getting done about it.

What’s got me frustrated is Roger’s denying the Skype app on the Apple Canada App store. Rogers is the only jurisdiction in the world that doesn’t allow the Skype app on the Apple App store. It’s uncompetitive, monopolistic, and non consumer friendly. Rogers has a monopoly on the iPhone in Canada, and isn’t giving consumers the choice of where and how they should spend their dollars. Rogers and Bell should be regulated like the utilities that they are. Maybe the Canadian government should hold a hearing on breaking up Rogers and Bell. In actual fact, Rogers controls both the pipeline and the content on that pipeline. And when that happens, these uncompetitive moves are the end result.

The US government recognizes the problem and has acted accordingly. Why isn’t the Canadian government or CRTC doing anything about it ? People – it’s time to speak up.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew August 23, 2009 at 7:05 am

Rogers doesn’t do everything right (crap upload speeds, blocking UMA when roaming out of Canada, crazy prices to name a few) but with Skype they have publicly stated they would not only allow Skype on the network, but would also allow Voice over 3G if Apple enabled it.

The lack of the iPhone Skype.app in Canada (easy workaround – just set up a non Canadian iTunes account) is about a Canadian codec patent issue which the iPhone app uses.

Jim Courtney August 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Ah, it’s so easy to assume that Rogers is blocking Skype. Check out these two posts for the real story (confirming what Andrew has indicated in his comment): Is Rogers Setting A Benchmark for Net Neutrality Policies? (http://voiceontheweb.biz/2009/06/is-rogers-setting-a-benchmark-for-net-neutrality-policies/) and Skype for iPhone: Not Available in Canada (http://voiceontheweb.biz/2009/03/skype-for-iphone-not-available-in-canada/)

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