FCC digs into Apple, Google, AT&T

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by charliehustle, Aug 3, 2009.

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  1. charliehustle macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2009

    The Channel WireAugust 03, 2009FCC Digs Into Apple, AT&T Google Voice App Rejection Does the FCC have it out for Apple?
    First, the Federal Communications Commission says it's probing carrier exclusivity and markets where certain mobile devices, or smartphones, aren't available due to lack of service by certain carriers, singling out the Apple iPhone and AT&T as main offenders.

    Now, the FCC is opening up another investigation with Apple at the center, this time taking a hard look into Apple blocking a Google Voice app from its iPhone App Store.

    And while the two investigations appear separate on the surface, carrier exclusivity could have played a role in Apple's App Store hanging up on a Google Voice app for the App Store.

    In letters to Apple, AT&T and Google, James D. Schlichting, the acting chief of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, said the agency wants to know what role AT&T played in the Google Voice app getting the kibosh from Apple's App Store.

    The FCC probe will examine why Apple cast the Google Voice app into its iPhone App Store graveyard for rejected applications.

    Google Voice gives users a free phone number that can be used to make them reachable via single-number dialing on any phone, including their smartphone. The Google Voice service also offers free domestic calls, cheaper long-distance calls and advanced call- screening features, as well as free SMS messages, voice mail and speech-to-text conversion of incoming voice mails. Google Voice applications for BlackBerry and Google Android smartphones are already available.

    It has been speculated that Apple rejected the Google Voice application from its iPhone App Store as a favor to AT&T. Google Voice offers some features and functions for free that AT&T customers pay for.

    The FCC wants to examine how much say AT&T has in restricting other applications from the Apple iPhone and what roles both Apple and AT&T play in the development of App Store apps.

    Further, the FCC Is looking at whether Apple consulted with AT&T in its decision to reject the Google Voice applications. The commission has asked the companies to produce any documents relating to those discussions.

    The FCC also wants AT&T to explain how Google Voice differs from VoIP applications available for the iPhone or on AT&T's network and determine whether applications rejected from the Apple App Store can run on other AT&T devices.

    Other areas the FCC wants to examine include AT&T's agreements and contracts with Apple for the iPhone related to the certification of applications or particular application's ability to utilize AT&T's 3G network and AT&T's role in certifying applications that run on its 3G network. That focus is to determine if there is a difference in how AT&T treats 3G applications for the iPhone vs. other 3G devices on its network and to determine if any other devices on AT&T's network can use Google Voice.

    In the FCC's letter to Google, Schlichting requested Google's account of the App Store rejection, asking for a description of the Google Voice app; Apple's explanation for rejecting the Google Voice app and any other Google apps, like Google Latitude; an account of Google applications approved for the App Store; descriptions of any proposed Google applications for the Apple App Store; and information on how iPhone users may access Google Voice functionality in the absence of an office App Store application.

    I hope apple gets forced to put the app back...
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