Last week the FCC required 3 companies to atone for what looks to be a tip-of-the iceburg investigation into the wireless industry. Apple, Google, and At&t were sent a list of questions to determine why the Google Voice Application was denied access to the iPhone App Store.
All three companies issued statements regarding this. The most interesting comes from Apple themselves claiming the Google Voice application was not denied, but instead under review.
"Contrary to published reports, Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it," Apple said. "The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, 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."
It should be noted that Apple and At&t have an arrangement to prevent any applications that would break the user agreement on At&t's network. Applications for such things as Slingbox have been denied for this very reason. At&t prohibits redirecting a television signal to any mobile device on their network. Apple and At&t both seemed very rattled by the implication of Google's "call routing" technology. The largest concern from the statements seems to be the fact that users would gain the ability to replace the core operating components within the iPhone. In other words, Apple really does not want anyone to be able to customize their device at all.
At&t has absolved themselves of any responsibility for the dealings with the App store. This was also echoed by Apple in their response.
"Apple alone makes the final decisions to approve or not approve iPhone applications"
It shoud be noted that Google filed for confidential treatment for the response to the question "What explanation was given (if any) for Apple's rejection of the Google Voice application (and for any other Google applications for iPhone that have been rejected, such as google Lattitude)?
While the FCC continues to probe the situation iPhone users can still take advantage of some of the features available from the invitation only service by logging into the Google Voice mobile portal.