Apple to FCC: We haven't rejected Google Voice. We worked alone
Apple has published its answers to an FFC investigation in the US over its role in the Google Voice Application debacle on Friday.
In a move that will surprise some, the company chose to openly publish its answers on its website for all to see in the hope that it will show transparency to its users.
In a direct response to six questions from the FCC Apple did not approve the Google Voice application not because of intervention from the AT&T but because:
"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"
Apple says that the application hasn't even been rejected, it just hasn't been approved.
"Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it... These factors present several new issues and questions to us that we are still pondering at this time."
Apple goes on to say that "Apple spent a lot of time and effort developing this distinct and innovative way to seamlessly deliver core functionality of the iPhone. For example, on an iPhone, the “Phone” icon that is always shown at the bottom of the Home Screen launches Apple’s mobile telephone application, providing access to Favorites, Recents, Contacts, a Keypad, and Visual Voicemail."
The same appears to go for GVDialer, VoiceCentral and GV Mobile, which although were initially approved have since been pulled from the App Store.
As to whether or not AT&T had any part to play, Apple confirms earlier statements from AT&T that it worked alone in its decision making process.
AT&T had already confirmed that it wasn't involved in the decision to block the Google Voice app in an interview with Reuters.
"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," said Jim Cicconi, AT&T senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs told the news wire.
"Apple alone makes the final decisions to approve or not approve iPhone applications," the company said in its questions, however does conceed that AT&T terms of service "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," which it says it honours.
"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," Apple states.
Meanwhile Apple said it receives 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," Apple confirmed.