Last summer, news broke that Google (GOOG) had complained to the FTC because its “Google Voice” application had been rejected by Apple. Why reject it? There are many reasons. But the main thing is that Google Voice gives users a way to “bypass” many of the advantages of a traditional carrier. It offers users a voicemail, a number that they can then redirect to mobile or traditional phones, free text messaging, etc, etc. All of these services are bound to create lost revenues for phone carriers and indirectly to Apple.
Apple makes a very large portion of its revenues not through selling the actual phone but through a revenue split agreement with the carriers (currently AT&T in the US), so removing profit from those carriers is not in Apple’s interest. But before even hearing back from FTC about its complaint, Google found another way to make it happen.
How did Google find a way??
They announced today that Google Voice would now work from a web browser, instead of an application. Iphone users now have a way to use the powerful service. Of course, Apple could probably block it out, but this would anger users and makes it a lot trickier. It will be very interesting to see Apple’s answer to this workaround. And thanks to the internet, Google has the power to bypass many other such “systems”
It might not happen today but the next victims of Google could well be cable TV/satellite providers. How? The idea of having TV’s being able to connect to the internet can of course help users to surf the web or find specific information but it also makes it possible for users to view content on websites such as Youtube. Yes, yes, I know… Youtube is not anything like what your cable provider has? But wait a second
-Youtube has started providing HD quality – this could very well be part of its move to give users the ability to get a high quality image even on high def TV’s
-Youtube has gained exclusive rights to broadcast Indian cricket this year. Sure, it is Cricket and apart from a few Europeans and many many Indians, few will even notice. But imagine if this became a trend. Would you still be paying your cable provider if you could get access to live sports and your favourite TV shows for a much lower price on your TV through Youtube? What if the next show like 24 or “Lost” appeared only on Youtube?
Of course, this will not happen overnight, but if I was a cable provider, I would start looking ahead at this possible competition because Google will be able to find a way to do this, I don’t think anyone should doubt this by now. There is a lot of potential money in such a strategy for Google and technology to get it done is catching up very quickly.