Nullriver, for a few hours, was able to offer the ability to use your iPhone as a Wi-Fi hotspot… until Apple used its monopoly power to shut them down.
It’s not rare for Nullriver to push the envelope however, the company is best known for creating Installer.app, the first unofficial App Store for iPhone. Using a jailbroken iPhone, Installer.app allows for easily installing iPhone applications without Apple’s blessing.
Today’s application, NetShare, allowed for iPhone users to establish what is known as a SOCKS proxy. Essentially, the user sets up a Wi-Fi ad-hoc network between iPhone and the laptop/computer. Once properly configured, the two devices can share a single internet connection.
Probably the most shocking event today, was that Apple apporoved and offered NetShare on its App Store for iPhone users. However, hours later, Apple pulled the application. It is still listed on the App Store, but with a note that the application is not currently available.
Apple is in a precarious position with the pulling of NetShare. On one hand, NetShare violates agreements between Apple and several carriers. These carriers prohibit using phones as a modem without paying an addition fee. On the other hand, Apple’s monopoly control over iPhone software, is best being exhibited with the blocking and subsequent pulling of NetShare.
Apple has a longstanding policy of not immediately responding to requests for comment on anti-competitive practices. Nullriver was not immediately available for comment.
Update: Nullriver has responded to PhoneNews.com, saying that they have not been given a response from Apple as to why the application was removed. They did note that NetShare complied with all App Store requirements and agreements with Apple.
In related news, NetShare surfaced again on the App Store today. Like the first offering however, it was pulled within a couple of hours of being available for purchase.