Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Apple explains why AT&T had nothing to do with (everything to do with) Apple's rejection (non-rejection) of Google Voice for the iPhone

Those looking to read a nice duplicitous release could do worse than "Apple Answers the FCC's Questions", in which Apple trips all over itself attempting to explain how its rejection (though Apple denies the term, saying the App has not been rejected, just not approved, and that Apple "continue to study" it) of Google's communication service Google Voice meets the needs of its consumers and, not coincidentally, the telecommunications giant which has the exclusive deal to provide service to the iPhone. Naturally, they then begin to explain exactly what AT&T had to do with the rejection (uh. . . everything):

Answering the question "Did Apple act alone, or in consultation with AT&T, in deciding to reject the Google Voice application and related applications?"
Apple is acting alone and has not consulted with AT&T about whether or not to approve the Google Voice application. No contractual conditions or non-contractual understandings with AT&T have been a factor in Apple’s decision-making process in this matter.

Then answering the question: "Does AT&T have any role in the approval of iPhone applications generally (or in certain cases)?"
There is a provision in Apple’s agreement with AT&T that obligates Apple not to include functionality in any Apple phone that enables a customer to use AT&T’s cellular network service to originate or terminate a VoIP session without obtaining AT&T’s permission. Apple honors this obligation, in addition to respecting AT&T’s customer Terms of Service, which, for example, prohibit an AT&T customer from using AT&T’s cellular service to redirect a TV signal to an iPhone. From time to time, AT&T has expressed concerns regarding network efficiency and potential network congestion associated with certain applications, and Apple takes such concerns into consideration.
Slick, Apple - slick.


Relevant editorial: Apple's Animal Farm

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