Friday, July 31, 2009

Apple and ATT: Explanation time?

Apple's hot news for any tech blog and that's why it's in here today--and it's still bad news for the giant company.

FCC wants explanation from Apple and AT&T re: GV Mobile

Google iPhone web appsImage by somefool :: ɹǝqɐɯ ʍǝɥʇʇɐɯ via Flickr

When GV Mobile was removed from apple's app Store, there was quite a large uproar from the tech community. They instantly thought that AT&T was the culprit here; influencing Apple to take the app out of the store. However, with such a large amount of attention, the Feds have sent a letter to both Apple and AT&T asking them to explain why GV Mobile was treated that way. Obviously the FCC didn't like what they read and wanted the 4 W's and 1 H: What, where, when, why, and how the whole thing started.

The FCC’s new chairman Julius Genachowski made it clear Friday in announcing the letters that he was not pleased by Apple and AT&T’s actions, while leaving wiggle room about what, if anything, the feds would do.

“Recent news reports raise questions about practices in the mobile marketplace,” Genachowski said in a press statement. “The Wireless Bureau’s inquiry letters to these companies about their practices reflect the Commission’s proactive approach to getting the facts and data necessary to make the best policy decisions on behalf of the American people.”
How will both companies reason out that they eliminated GV Mobile just because Google's VOIP was messing with Apple's other apps? Everyone's dying to know how they'll get out of this one.

VoiceCentral finally gets response from Apple, but it's weird

If You're Not ConfusedImage by B Tal via Flickr

The other app taken out surreptitiously after it was approved 4 months ago and was already downloaded and being used was VoiceCentral. We reported last time that the developer was pretty much confused and angry and is now was faced with emails from angry users asking for their money back. What was even more frustrating on his side, was that apple never gave him a straight answer as to why it was taken out without even a notice coming from them. Well, Apple apparently needed time to carefully construct their words as they replied the next day:

On June 30, the team was finally contacted by Richard from Apple, a cordial person who was profoundly unable to provide specific, useful information to Duerr, details beyond the fact that “VoiceCentral has been removed from the App Store because it duplicates features of the iPhone … and was causing confusion in the user community.” When Duerr pointed out that other apps like Textfree, Skype, fring, and iCall also duplicated iPhone features, Richard said he couldn’t discuss other apps.

Apple and AT&T sure have a lot of explaining to do after this. I see this as a game changing event with the way carriers and mobile phone makers make their contracts and exclusive deals.

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