In Morning Hangover #24, I wrote about the FCC's investigation on why Google Voice was rejected from the iPhone App Store. Apple and AT&T have responded to the FCC. Here's a snippet from Apple's letter:
"Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it. The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, it appears to alter the iPhone’s distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail."
Apparently Apple didn't "reject" Google Voice. It's just studying a relatively uncomplicated app because it's overly concerned that its iPhone customers are too stupid to tell the difference between the iPhone's interface and Google Voice. Yeah....
As for AT&T, it's claiming complete innocence in the fiasco. Senior executive vice president Jim Cicconi wrote:
"To that end, let me state unequivocally, 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.
Any AT&T customer may access and use Google Voice on any web-enabled device operating on AT&T’s network, including the iPhone, by launching the application through their web browser, without the need to use the Apple App Store."
If AT&T had no involvement in the decision then why make the "web browser" excuse? I don't get it. Apple has limited the functionality of Sling and Skype for iPhone due to AT&T's network concerns, so I find it hard to believe that AT&T had "no role" in the matter. Then again, maybe it's all part of Apple's war with Google.
Personally, I find it amusing that all these official responses to a government agency are full of half-truths and posturing. While I'd love for these companies to be more transparent to the consumer, I can't expect that when they're not being completely honest with the government.
If you're interested in more specifics, here are the official letters, courtesy of GigaOm.
Whether you're a Google Voice fan, an iPhone user, and an AT&T sympathizer, I'd love to hear what you think of the situation.