• ATT to FCC re: Google Voice - Nah, that's Apple's Fault

    If you've been paying any attention, you know that Apple pulled all Google Voice applications from the AppStore recently (resulting in at least one - GV Mobile - popping over to Cydia), and Google was apparently a bit miffed... enough to gracefully pull out of Apple's board (citing conflict of interest instead of "hey knock it off" - sounds the same to me). The FCC caught wind of all this, and decided they needed to take a closer look at the situation, stating "in light of pending FCC proceedings regarding wireless open access (RM-11361) and handset exclusivity (RM-11497), we are interested in a more complete understanding of this situation."

    The FCC sent Apple 6 very interesting questions, including "Why did Apple reject the Google Voice application for iPhone and remove related third-party applications from its App Store?" and "What are the standards for considering and approving iPhone applications? What is the approval process for such applications (timing, reasons for rejection, appeal process, etc.)?" They also requested info from AT&T about the decisions.

    Apple details their answers to the FCC in their "Hot News" area, and its worth a read. A few tidbits:

    Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it... We are continuing to study the Google Voice application and its potential impact on the iPhone user experience. Google is of course free to provide Google Voice on the iPhone as a web application through Apple’s Safari browser, just as they do for desktop PCs, or to provide its “Google-branded” user experience on other phones, including Android-based phones, and let consumers make their choices.
    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.
    There are more than 40 full-time trained reviewers, and at least two different reviewers study each application so that the review process is applied uniformly. Apple also established an App Store executive review board that determines procedures and sets policy for the review process, as well as reviews applications that are escalated to the board because they raise new or complex issues. The review board meets weekly and is comprised of senior management with responsibilities for the App Store. 95% of applications are approved within 14 days of being submitted.... We receive about 8,500 new applications and updates every week, and roughly 20% of them are not approved as originally submitted. In little more than a year, we have reviewed more than 200,000 applications and updates.
    AT&T is claiming ignorance (most likely truthfully - I don't see Apple calling AT&T to ask if they can put an app in their own store) and agrees with the fruity behemoth they had nothing to do with the decision.

    And whoa - 65,000 applications and only 40 reviewers? No wonder it takes so long to get approved...

    Engadget, Apple
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