updated 04:35 pm EST, Thu December 8, 2011
T-Mobile stops YouMail on Android but leaves iOS
Visual voicemail developer YouMail accused T-Mobile of trying to censor a competitor by blocking its app. The carrier relayed through Google that it believed the app could be "harmful to devices, networks or users" and was triggering an "adverse network disruption." T-Mobile didn't contact YouMail itself, which led CEO Alex Quilici to suspect that the provider simply wanted to shut down a voicemail alternative.
"We hate to think this is simply anti-competitive behavior on T-Mobile's part -- simply because we've produced an innovative and dramatically better voicemail product than they offer, and that's free on top of it," he said. "Especially given they are trying to finish their acquisition by AT&T... And the 'guilty until proven innocent' doesn't speak well for the Android [Market] either. At a minimum, if one carrier complains, why not simply turn off the app for that carrier -- it's only one checkbox -- versus suspending it from anyone?"
The iOS app (free, App Store) remains intact.
Google and T-Mobile haven't responded to the accusations.
Although Apple has been known to stop competitive apps and has a policy against iOS apps that provide very similar features, its keeping the app unusually makes it less restrictive. Google monitors app submissions on Android less closely than Apple, but it also has provisions to withhold apps by the individual carrier. Pulling YouMail would also show that carriers have more control than developers or users on the platform. [via GigaOM]