Google: Apple did reject Google Voice application | iLounge News


Google: Apple did reject Google Voice application

In its response to a Federal Communications Commission inquiry into why Apple rejected an official Google Voice application for the iPhone, Google stated (PDF Link) that Apple did in fact reject its Google Voice application, a charge Apple denied in its public response on the matter, claiming it was still studying the application. The majority of Google’s response was redacted from the original public filing on the basis that it was confidential; the full document was released today, and reveals that Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller personally talked and met with Google Senior Vice President of Engineering & Research Alan Eustace about the Google Voice and Google Latitude applications, both rejected by Apple on the grounds that they duplicated core iPhone functionality and could potentially lead to customer confusion. In a particularly damning passage, Google indicates that Apple rejected Google Latitude because it would “offer new features not present on the preloaded maps application,” and “did not want applications that could potentially replace such functionality,” using similar grounds to reject Google Voice. Google also states that it had no contact with AT&T on the matter, a claim which both Apple and AT&T have previously confirmed. Google says that it has no other proposed applications pending approval with Apple.

Update: Apple has released a terse statement on the matter, saying, “We do not agree with all of the statements made by Google in their FCC letter. Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application and we continue to discuss it with Google.”

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“Customer confusion” is a code phrase for “competitition”.

Posted by Dale on September 18, 2009 at 12:58 PM (CDT)


This seriously grinds my gears… My personal dislike for Apple and this ridiculous process grows…

Posted by Ty on September 18, 2009 at 1:00 PM (CDT)


I detest these anti-consumer practices. If Apple, with all their insider knowledge of the iPhone OS and hardware, can’t manage to outcode a 3rd party developer only using publically revealed APIs they have no one to blame but themselves. They should let the consumer decide which voice or map application suits their needs best.

Apple needs to realize that the rest of the world does not, and can not, function according to a practice of trickling out minor, incremental improvements to products that where usually deliberately limited to begin with. Now that Apple has finally made a product that has the potential to be more than a time waster in the grown up world, they’re about to meet up with the sort of scrutiny Microsoft has been enduring for years.

Posted by Code Monkey on September 18, 2009 at 1:13 PM (CDT)


Maybe Apple should put someone in charge of the App Store that isn’t the VP of Marketing.  Why the hell Schiller talking to Google about their apps in the first place?  The marketing department and the app store should be completely different areas.

Posted by DustoMan on September 18, 2009 at 3:30 PM (CDT)


I would say that one reason to upgrade from 2G/3G to 3GS played a large role in this.  Voice Control was a big selling point (not for all, but some).  It’s the same reason you won’t see a removable flash memory slot on any apple iPod/iPhone.  You can’t blame them totally, but it is annoying.  Especially with all the crap that manages to slip onto the app store.  MP3 & Application sales are like adult toys.  You can’t return them once they’ve been used.  No matter how crappy the product, you ain’t getting a refund.

Posted by jesse1623 on September 19, 2009 at 3:21 AM (CDT)


“I would say that one reason to upgrade from 2G/3G to 3GS played a large role in this.”

Exactly, the problem is that Apple needs to make a choice about what’s more important, protecting their antiquated & anti-consumer practice of artificially constraining products so they can try to sell you a new piece of hardware next year with a feature that could just as easily been implemented this year (or, heck, two or three years ago in many cases), or attracting the best 3rd party developers. The metaphorical pandora’s box has been opened in the form of a genuine OS platform on an iPod and Apple is being silly if they think they can keep the metaphorical lid on it for much longer. The $0.99 cent shovel ware will only keep the iPhone OS devices differentiated and novel for so long before consumers tire and demand something with real oomph.

They’ve got the momentum, they’ve got the platform, let’s see if they have the intelligence to do something great with it instead of driving away 3rd party developers so they can do the software based equivalent of finally offering FM radio on an iPod several years after their competition made the feature so common it wasn’t even considered much of a feature at all.

Posted by Code Monkey on September 19, 2009 at 9:55 AM (CDT)


If we had a “free market,” Apple’s response would be to allow the application and say one of two things to the public “Here’s this application, and now here’s what we’re going to do to compete with it.”  Or two, and I don’t know if it would be legal to say this, but they could have at least been honest and said “Putting this application on our phones will provide competition that we do not wish to enable.”  Sadly, Google Voice would not put Apple out of business at all, but would only offer competition to force them to innovate better and price their products more competitively.

This whole thing is a classic example of how companies that seemingly are working in a fluid free market are constantly using practice to prevent competition.

Posted by Tom on October 17, 2009 at 7:28 PM (CDT)

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