Well, of course I noticed that Google and Verizon appeared to bury the hatchet. The news was everywhere yesterday. But as Engadget points out: these two were bitter adversaries. Now its all “rainbows and kittens”? Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman. No, Google and Apple were ready to carve up the telecom industry into an open arena for apps and advertising. Then the Justice department started to wonder if that was a monopoly.
What to do? How does Apple get AT&T to open up to apps like Skype (or Google Voice). How does Google get Android-based advertising into the hands of the masses without the expense of creating a network of its own?
Perhaps you use the meddling of the Justice department to shake up the industry. You back off from plan A. Get your Google CEO’s off the Apple board. Refuse to let Google Voice onto the iPhone. Then, when the Justice department is just starting to wonder where its juicy Monopoly went, you go to Verizon and ask if they wouldn’t like to use Android and Google Voice to take on Apple and AT&T?
Next thing you know, AT&T lets Apple put Skype and friends on the iPhone. See here:
The phone giant, the exclusive wireless provider for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, previously allowed Internet calling services to work on the popular device only over Wi-Fi connections. Those connections generally have limited mobility and therefore present less of a competitive threat to AT&T’s core wireless calling business.
Yes, things are starting to open up nicely. But here’s the thing. This sort of arch-enemies-become-bosom-buddies strategy can end badly. Just look at where Sun ended up following its Microsoft deal. Poor Verizon.