When the Android Market formally launched last year, Google promised a much more hands-off approach than Apple has taken with its iTunes App Store in that it would not screen submitted apps for approval. They did, however, reserve the right to remove any application should it violate the manufacturer’s or authorized carrier’s terms of service and apparently that has led Google to pull all tethering apps from its marketplace.
The news will sure come as a letdown to many but we really can’t blame Google for complying. Turns out T-Mobile, the only operator actually selling an Android smartphone in the United States, expressly forbids tethering phones to a computer. This, on the other hand, does come as quite a surprise given that T-Mobile’s CTO Cole Brodman specifically said last year they wouldn’t lock down Android or update it to break tethering applications. Users outside the T-Mobile US network would still have access to these applications.