I’m not Michael Arrington’s biggest fan but his latest article on TechCrunch entitled, “I Quit The iPhone” is pretty interesting. In the article, Arrington talks about how the App Store/Google Voice debacle between Apple and Google has ultimately caused him to jump off of AT&T’s service in favor of using Google Voice on other cell phone networks, ones that are better than AT&T.
Google isn’t forcing the decision on me, Apple and AT&T are. So I choose to work with the company that isn’t forcing me to do things their way. And in this case, that’s Google.
This excerpt is the most interesting part of the article and it’s a point that finds its way into technology news again and again.
First it starts with Apple’s shroud of mystery which is the App Store approval process. In our transparency-obsessed culture, we as a culture can’t sit by and take things for face value anymore. We need to know why certain things happen. Journalism couldn’t exist without transparency and now that links are ever present in online reports, journalism or otherwise, the public wants to know more and more about why certain things happen.
Apple’s policies simply won’t fly. They can be as secretive as they want with their product and software development but developers need to know specifically why their hard work won’t make it onto the App Store. What’s more is that Apple needs to provide a set of specific guidelines for developers, the things that they can and cannot do with their applications so that Apple can reduce bad PR and articles titled “Another App Mysteriously Rejected from the App Store.”
People aren’t happy with AT&T either. Not many devote their time to spontaneously praising companies; people spend their time complaining and openly discussing the things that they dislike. It’s not a good thing that AT&T is a trending topic on Twitter almost every day. But for the people who are unhappy with AT&T, unhappy with the iPhone or unhappy with both, Google is there to catch you.
Google is positioning itself as a safety net and by not forcing itself on people, by merely sitting and waiting, in addition to the early adopters and the avid Google service users, disgruntled users too will slowly find their way onto one or more of the services listed below.
Gmail, Chrome, Adsense, the upcoming Chrome OS, Blogger, YouTube, Google Calendar, Google Docs and now Google Voice are all options for Internet users across a variety of platforms. In addition to Google’s simple business model that more time on the Internet equals more money in their pocket, more services and more options through a variety of platforms allows Google to catch the falling users that aren’t satisfied with whatever service they may be using.
It’s simple for Google: “Don’t force, people will come to us. It’s only a matter of time before the competition angers its user base and when they do, we’ll be waiting.”