Today Apple, Google and AT&T filed their responses to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) inquiry regarding the reasons behind the removal of Google Voice from the Apple’s App Store.
In case you’ve been under a rock for the last 3 weeks and don’t know the back story, Google has this application called Google Voice. Google Voice has been immensely popular because among other things, it gives you a portable number for all of you communication needs, including SMS, Voicemail, Call Routing, Call Monitoring, and more. The unique thing is that your Google number can transfer to any phone of your choosing so you aren’t locked into a carriers number.
Below are summaries of the responses that each company provided to the FCC:
AT&T is the exclusive “official” carrier for the iPhone (for now) and rumor had it that they were actually the ones behind the removal of the application, since it provided their current customers an easy escape route from their lackluster service when and if other carriers start supporting iPhones.
AT&T’s Response: An AT&T spokesperson said in a statement, “AT&T had no role in any decision by Apple to not accept the Google Voice application for inclusion in the Apple App Store. AT&T was not asked about the matter by Apple at any time, nor did we offer any view one way or the other. AT&T does not block consumers from accessing any lawful website on the Internet. Consumers can download or launch a multitude of compatible applications directly from the Internet, including Google Voice, through any web-enabled wireless device without the need to use the Apple App Store.”
Google is the maker of the Google Voice application and the host for the back end that supports it’s operation.
Google’s Response: This is the part I found fasinating. Click Here to see the actual response by Google. Most of the answers are very straight forward as one would imagine, but then you get to the question where is says, “What explanation was given (if any) for Apple’s rejection of the Google Voice Application…” What follows as their answer is a big fat, “Confidential” and then nothing.
There are more questions, but this would have been the juicy stuff and it was removed. Now I’m forced to ponder. Maybe it went something like this, “Hey Google who the @$#!@ do you think you are? You can’t come in to our house and take customers from our buddy AT&T. So this is your official notification to stick it”. Of course this is just my rambling thoughts and in no way should be misconstrued as the actual “Confidential” text that was hidden.
Apple of course is the maker of the iPhone and controls the App Store, which on last count had 65,000 application available. It’s an impressive number, but if you remove the retarded apps like, fart, burp, sneeze, etc. you are left with about 10 to be exact.
Apple’s Response: Ok wait, honestly, Apple’s response can be summarized in about four sentences and here goes.
(WARNING: These are Dan’s warped interpretations and not the actual answers)
We’re Apple, we control the universe that is iPhone. We didn’t talk to AT&T because they aren’t as all powerful as we are. We and we alone approve what applications go into the App Store and no one else. (hint, this means you FCC) We didn’t actualy “reject” the Google Voice app, but instead we have put into to a permanent state for “being reviewed”. We fully aniticapate this review being finished, when cars can hover.
For those folks out there who are masochist and want to read the “actual” resonse, here is a link: Apple’s Official Response