Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission sent letters to Apple, AT&T and Google seeking answers on the Google Voice application's removal from the iPhone Apps Store. AT&T has responded by saying that Apple is the one in control, not AT&T.
Last Friday, the Federal Communications Commission sent letters to Apple, AT&T and Google seeking answers on the Google Voice application's removal from the iPhone Apps Store. AT&T has responded by saying that Apple is the one in control, not AT&T.An AT&T spokeperson issued the following statement over the weekend, "AT&T does not manage or approve applications for the App Store. We have received the letter and will, of course, respond to it."
In other words, AT&T says it had nothing to do with it.
It may be true that AT&T has nothing to do with the approval process of applications, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility for AT&T to suggest to Apple that some apps are kosher and others aren't -- or be able to exert some other form of influence.
After all, AT&T said just several months ago that it couldn't allow the SlingPlayer application for iPhone to work via its 3G network. Instead, the app only works over Wi-Fi. That seems like "managing and approving" to me.
What's curious is that, on the surface, Apple really has nothing to gain or lose by pulling the application. I mean, it's AT&T's network that is being accessed/used by Google Voice for calls and messaging. Apple's bottom line or business isn't threatened at all -- unless the application's approval soured the relationship between AT&T and Apple.
The FCC wants the questions to be answered within a few weeks. Given that the answers need to go to the FCC, they should become public. It will be very interesting to see the in-depth questions from all three companies about this matter.
The list of questions that the FCC wan'ts AT&T to answer include:
What role, if any, did AT&T play in Apple's consideration of the Google Voice and related applications? What role, if any, does AT&T play in consideration of iPhone applications generally? What roles are specified in the contractual provisions between Apple and AT&T (or in any non-contractual understanding between the companies) regarding the consideration of particular iPhone applications?
Did Apple consult with AT&T in the process of deciding to reject the Google Voice application? If so, please describe any communications between AT&T and Apple or Google on this topic, including the parties involved and a summary of any meetings or discussions.
Please explain AT&T's understanding of any differences between the Google Voice iPhone application and any Voice over Internet Protocol applications that are currently used on the AT&T network, either via the iPhone or via handsets other than the iPhone.
To AT&T's knowledge, what other applications have been rejected for use on the iPhone? Which of these applications were designed to operate on AT&T's 3G network? What was AT&T's role in considering whether such applications would be approved or rejected?
Please detail any conditions included in AT&T's agreements or contracts with Apple for the iPhone related to the certification of applications or any particular application's ability to use AT&T's 3G network.
Are there any terms in AT&T's customer agreements that limit customer usage of certain third-party applications? If so, please indicate how consumers are informed of such limitations and whether such limitations are posted on the iTunes website as well. In general, what is AT&T's role in certifying applications on devices that run over AT&T's 3G network? What, if any, applications require AT&T's approval to be added to a device? Are there any differences between AT&T's treatment of the iPhone and other devices used on its 3G network?
Please list the services/applications that AT&T provides for the iPhone, and whether there any similar, competing iPhone applications offered by other providers in Apple's App Store.
Do any devices that operate on AT&T's network allow use of the Google Voice application? Do any devices that operate on AT&T's network allow use of other applications that have been rejected for the iPhone?
Please explain whether, on AT&T's network, consumers' access to and usage of Google Voice is disabled on the iPhone but permitted on other handsets, including Research in Motion's BlackBerry devices.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?