Vonage Does What Google Can't

Vonage gets its voice app on the iPhone

By Scott Budman
|  Monday, Oct 5, 2009  |  Updated 2:24 PM EDT
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Vonage gets an app onto the iPhone. A similar app from Google remains locked out.

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The good news, if you're an iPhone user, is that you now have access to an app that lets you make phone calls, all over the world, inexpensively, over cellular networks. The bad news, if you're Google, is that it's not yours. 

On the heels of its rejection of Google's Voice app, Apple lifted its velvet rope for the Vonage Mobile app. Vonage, an Internet telephony company, says its app will work on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and BlackBerry. 

The app, which requires a Vonage account, will let you call anywhere around the world from wherever you are. If you're near a Wi-Fi hotspot, you won't even use cell-phone minutes -- and if you're not, you'll only get billed for a local call. 

Personally, I think this is going to be a hit.  I've heard from several people at my local coffeeshop that this type of app is exactly what they've been waiting for.  So, good for Vonage.

But what about Google?  They've been trying to put this type of app on your phone for awhile now.  Why the snub when Vonage was met with open cyber arms?  Maybe it's further evidence of a chill between Apple and Google. 

One key difference: Vonage is a telephone operator, whereas Google insists that Google Voice is a Web application that doesn't have to play by old-school rules. But if anything, Vonage is competing more directly with the likes of AT&T, since Google Voice requires a separate phone line. So maybe the question here is not how Vonage made it in, but why Google Voice remains locked out.

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