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Google contradicts Apple, claims Google Voice was rejected

updated 02:00 pm EDT, Fri September 18, 2009

Search giant lifts confidentiality request

Following several Freedom of Information Act requests attempting to access Google's redacted documents regarding the FCC's Google Voice inquiry, the company has decided to drop the confidentiality requests. The unredacted portion of the document contradicts Apple's public statement that it has not formally rejected the app, as the matter is still being discussed.

"Apple's representatives informed Google that the Google Voice application was rejected because Apple believed the application duplicated the core dialer functionality of the iPhone," Google's response to the FCC reads. "The Apple representatives indicated that the company did not want applications that could potentially replace such functionality."

Despite speculation that AT&T was the culprit behind the app's rejection, Google claims it never communicated directly with the carrier regarding the Google Voice app. Many believed the decision was made to protect AT&T's profits by eliminating a VoIP method that could be used to make voice calls on an alternative line without paying for minutes or long distance fees.

AT&T also denied involvement in the decision to pull the VoIP apps from the App Store. The company has maintained that it did not provide any opinion on the apps, nor did it request for the content to be blocked. The carrier's letter to the FCC even claimed that the Google Voice service wasn't viewed as a true VoIP service, and therefore would not have the same negative impact as other apps such as Skype.

Apple listed a variety of issues with the Google Voice apps, including the duplicate functionality with voicemail and SMS messaging. The response to the FCC also voiced privacy concerns, as the app sends iPhone contact information to Google's servers. Apple claims that it "continues to study" the software, although several similar apps were pulled from the App Store.

by MacNN Staff



  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Does any of this really matter?

    Apple decided to not approve the app. This is not news. The cited reasons cover usurping several functions of the base software, as well as sending user information to Google's servers.

    At first, we all blamed AT&T, but it looks more like Apple does not trust Google to live by it's own motto of "Do no Evil". It is one thing to give your own personal information to a third-party company through their software, but giving out the personal contact information of whoever you call is something entirely different, as that called person is not electing to compromise their privacy, nor being given the chance to opt out.

    Mobile Me Syncing, you may shout, but Apple does not have a business in mining and searching data, as Google does. I'm just speculating, but hey, this released document is a redacted copy of Google's interpretation of the rejection, not Apple's official word. For all we know, Apple may not have rejected the app, but told the Google team working on the program where they would run into problems.

    -- Len

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: does it matter

    At first, we all blamed AT&T, but it looks more like Apple does not trust Google to live by it's own motto of "Do no Evil".

    Right. Because Apple never does anything 'evil' or for corporate greed. They're just out for the consumer!

    And someone must think it matters, since they're going to a lot of effort to find out.

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