VentureBeat has one of the more surprising stories that I’ve seen so far this year: that Google may have intentionally crippled Android in an effort to please Apple. Multi-touch support was apparently part of the G1 until Cupertino got wind of it, the site reports.
Apple asked Google not to use the technology, and it was removed. Something tells me it wasn’t just a simple “please:” look at the company’s not-so-veiled threats against Palm. It appears as if Apple is going to be quite protective of its intellectual property, and the functionality that separates the iPhone from the pack.
I personally do not like the fact that Google caved in so easily. While yes, Apple does have a significant stake in multi-touch as Harry pointed out in January, companies should not let this get in the way of innovation. In fact, its questionable whether apple was really the first to come up with the multi-touch user interface.
Then again, I see why Google would want to please Apple. The two companies are quite close, and Google’s mapping software is one of the signature featurs of the iPhone. Add to this the fact that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is an Apple board member, and well, you can see why they might be more willing to bend over backwards.
Personally, I think its only a matter of time — probably months — before Google has to turn to Apple and say, “I’m sorry, but business is business.”