Calicanis's basic premise is that Apple is destroying the internet by being anticompetitive with the iPhone, though he also includes a bunch of tangential rants (see the rebuttal above) that have nothing to do with that anti-competitive practice.
What really irks me is that everyone's complaining exactly the things that have revolutionized the mobile device as a platform, the mobile web, and mobile app distribution. From the company that builds their OS on Unix, and their browser on an OSS project.
1. It's only "anti-competitive" because Apple's created the only worthwhile game in town. Nobody else had come close to building such a great platform for development, user experience, and distribution as the App Store.
2. Before the App Store, there was a fractured and un-addressable market. You *literally* have to "know someone" to get your "app" published by a mobile carrier, even today. Palm tried an "open" marketplace for apps on the old Palm Pilot devices, and it was a disaster: as a result, Palm's OS crashed all the time, was slow, and sucked batteries dry in minutes. And I tried writing code for my VX once, it was no fun. I've also written 2 serious apps for the Blackberry. Each one ran on a single *model* of Blackberry, was horribly difficult to build, and getting them distributed was impossibly difficult.
3. Google Voice? It's AT&T. Is this a question? Look at motives. Apple profits by selling more iPhones, and making them the platform of choice for consumer app development (and thus making them more sticky for customers). AT&T profits by finding ways to make you talk for more minutes, and send more expensive texts. Apple has no motive to pick a fight with Google over Voice. AT&T *literally* becomes irrelevant if your iPhone (or iTouch) can make calls without its network.
4. My last point here, one that I've made before, is that Apple works iteratively. Anybody remember what a horrible, unstable, unusable, slow piece of crap OSX 1.0 was? Anybody remember iPhone OS 1.0? Anybody notice that every year, the computers get both faster & better, and cheaper? Expect that the App Store process will get better with time. It always has so far, and it will continue to do so.
I'll leave you with a story...
I was (by blind luck) one of the first 4000-or so "beta" iPhone developers back in the Spring/Summer of 2008.
I had just left my last startup, was utterly burned out, but convinced my next step was going to involve the yet-to-be-released iPhone SDK. Somehow ignorant of the "application" process fiasco already in the media, I signed up for an iPhone dev account, and waited for my login credentials. After only the "thanks for your application" email from Apple, I looked around at forums online, and could not find one single story of someone's application being approved. Just weeks of nothingness from Apple. So, crushed, I in stead read everything I could find about Jailbreaking, downloaded some crazy firmware-hack, and jailbroke my phone. I jailbroke the phone, and downloaded someone's hacked toolchain.
It all took about 48 hours, being careful to back things up, researching which techniques were likely reversible, which might fry my expensive new toy. On the evening of that second day, I got an email from Apple approving my developer application, with a link to pay my $99.00 and sign up. I un-jailbroke my phone, logged into Apple gleefully, and proceeded to check out. So I paid my $99.00. But there was no change to my account. There was no link to follow. There was no instructional email. I was baffled.
I twittered my frustration. I read more forums. I pulled out my hair. I wrote Python code. 2 days later, I got another email: click here to activate your iPhone dev account. Sure enough, I clicked it, and was able to log in and download the SDK. Soon I had an example app up and running in the simulator on my Mac. Next step: test it on the actual device! Following the instructions, I need a certificate to do that. There's no such link anywhere on the site yet.
Once again, I'm at an impasse. By now, however, I'm not frustrated- I've learned to wait a few days. Sure enough, it wasn't long before I had an app running on my phone, using the GPS, talking to the internet, and taking photos.
This microcosm perfectly mirrors the state of current affairs. I was watching Apple, day by day, roll out their developer system. Each time I got to a new step, that's all there *was* for me to do. I had to wait until the next day to take another.
I wish people could see the big picture with Apple. We're only on day 2. Give them a week or two.