Apple has once again removed another awesome application from the App Store, after allowing it to be downloaded thousands of times. The approval process to get an app onto the store apparently means nothing, considering it lasted almost a day. Apple giveth, and can just as easily, taketh away.

iTether allowed iPhone users to use their data connection from their iPhone with their computer, allowing them to have internet on their computer anytime their phone has it. The process was very simple, pairing with a desktop application from their website. By opening the application on both the laptop and the iPhone, users were able to seamlessly experience data to their computer, via a USB connection. Data was still the same data they paid to use, and it was still traveling to the same device the paid to use it on, except that device was now sharing that connection with a laptop.

This application was awesome, and thousands of people downloaded it, and are now able to have this capability for a long time to come. If you weren’t able to get it, then you’re now SOL, unfortunately. It’s really sad that carriers control the App Store. Here I was thinking Apple was in control.

The application didn’t infringe on any copyright laws, and it wasn’t coded with unapproved code. It didn’t circumvent any policies that Apple doesn’t allow, or create any loopholes or malicious intents. The app simply communicated with a desktop client, which needed to manually downloaded by the users that wanted it to work for them.

According to Tether support, the app was approved by Apple, Inc. after a series of questions had been answered. When asked whether or not they were worried about the application being removed or not, Tether support replied, via Facebook:

Apple’s App Store has always been very tightly controlled, and moderated, which is often the best for consumers. It keeps out dangerous content, and allows for a strict set of guidelines for developers so that their apps look and feel like the rest of the apps on iOS. The removal of this application, which met all guidelines, can only lead to one simple (and to most of you, obvious) conclusion: Apple doesn’t have complete control of their App Store. Carriers do.

It’s a shame. Functions like these are supposed to be available to us. iPhones in the UK have this functionality given to them, from the carriers. @iPhoneHelpr via Twitter, explains that he can tether for free in his country, with Three UK:

Given the nature of corporate America, the sad truth we’ll need to face in this country, founded on principles of freedom, is that our lives, especially in regards to technology, will eventually, and gradually, be getting less and less free as time goes on. I wonder if anything will ever be done about that sad truth. Maybe?

You can find out more about iTether in yesterday’s write-up about it by CLICKING HERE.

Below is one of the statements made on the matter, by Support, about the removal from the App Store:

Apple Pulls iTether

Submitted by phankinson on Tue, 11/29/2011 – 14:22
Around 12PM EST, Apple called our head office to let us know they were going to go ahead and pull our app iTether from the App Store. They stated it was because the app itself burdens the carrier network, however they offered us no way to remedy the solution… We were very clear when listing the app what the primary function was and they even followed up with several questions and requested a video demo then they approved the application.

We strongly disagree that it burdens a carrier’s network, as from our own data history on more than 500,000 users we know the average user consumes less than 200 MBs of data per month on Tether. In comparison, one TV show streamed from Netflix, an approved Apple App, could easily be in the 300-400 MBs range. Sure, there are some users that will consume way more than the average however that’s the case with any of these types of products.

Our team is very disappointed in Apple’s decision; as we strongly believe we help carriers better monetize their data stream by pushing customers into new data tiers further increasing their bottom-line. It is very anti-competitive to not allow any Tethering application to enter into this space to innovate. Our team has created a lot of innovative solutions for the BlackBerry product, which we were hoping to port over to the iPhone like end-to-end encryption, compression, website filtering and port filtering.

According to Apple, users who purchase iTether before it was pulled will continue to be able to use the product.

Our team is evaluating all of our options… Stay tuned.

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