News: Apple and AT&T Respond To FCC Questions

chris

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#1
A few weeks back, the FCC asked Apple, AT&T and Google to respond to questions as to why Apple rejected Google Voice for entry into the App Store and why several Google Voice related apps were pulled. You can read letters from both Google and AT&T at Engadget. Apple has issued a press release that includes their answers, while AT&T put also put out this brief release.


“We appreciate the opportunity to clear up misconceptions related to an application Google submitted to Apple for inclusion in the Apple App Store. We fully support the FCC’s goal of getting the facts and data necessary to inform its policymaking.

“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.

“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. As a result, 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.”



Apple starts their response by saying contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application and continues to study it. Essentially the letter is a more verbose way of saying Google Voice duplicates features of the iPhone and Apple is not sure about “its potential impact on the iPhone user experience.”


Story, comments > Apple and AT&T Respond To FCC Questions
 
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psylichon

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But... they already approved it! No response on that point at all? It's not like an app with Google's stamp on it "slipped through the cracks" after all...
 

chris

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BTW, you gotta love the Friday night release of these letters. Classic "let's miss the news cycle" release.
 

kdarling

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For all their handwaving in their letters, they answered the core FCC question: Does ATT have any influence over app selection? And the answer is yes.

Apple admits that they take ATT concerns into consideration, and ATT admits they are sometimes consulted about an app's approval or rejection.

They can repeat all they want that ATT has no contractual power of rejection, but it's clear to any experienced businesssperson that the power is there nevertheless.

So... what will the FCC do, if anything?
 

duvi

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For all their handwaving in their letters, they answered the core FCC question: Does ATT have any influence over app selection? And the answer is yes.

Apple admits that they take ATT concerns into consideration, and ATT admits they are sometimes consulted about an app's approval or rejection.

They can repeat all they want that ATT has no contractual power of rejection, but it's clear to any experienced businesssperson that the power is there nevertheless.

So... what will the FCC do, if anything?

I want to disagree with that... I want to because of some of the apps in the store now (or was in the app store).

Qik is an app I was a beta tester for AT&T on the Bold which allowed streaming over their network is allowed. Qik was even updated to allow streaming on the iPhone over the network.

Also, GV Dialer was in the app store for the longest and seemed to get pulled off after the Google beef (where Eric was forced to resign off the board for Apple).

I think it has more to do with Apple rather than AT&T. Wasn't GV Dialer removed in all the other app stores (non-US)?
 

kdarling

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#8
My apologies, my post wasn't clear:

The FCC wasn't concerned with GV itself. They're operating on a higher level than that.

The FCC questions were designed to dig out only one thing: does ATT have an influence over Apple's application store decisions?

And the answer is yes.

With the current emphasis towards net neutrality, application availability, and open devices, that answer does not benefit ATT.