As with most issues related to telephony, it's easy to point the finger to Apple's partner in crime, AT&T, which certainly doesn't have the best track record when it comes to embracing competitive technology. However, even if pressure from AT&T was part of the equation here, the fact remains that Apple bowed to said pressure -- and did so at the disadvantage of one of its major allies. Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who sits on Apple's board of directors, said in 2008 that he recuses himself from board discussions of the iPhone, with which Google's Android platform competes. According toThe Wall Street Journal, Schmidt reiterated the stance as recently as earlier this month, saying at a Google press conference, "I recused myself from iPhone because it was a direct competitor."
Apple's relationship with AT&T has begun to look decidedly shaky during the past several months--the wireless carrier was openly booed not once but twiceat Apple's WWDC keynote, and still has yet to deliver on the subject of those criticisms. Amidst news that Verizon is planning to roll out 4G testing later this year for launch in 2010, suggest that Apple may at least have the option of switching horses in the not too distant future.