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Apple, Google, AT&T Respond To the FCC Over Google Voice

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the honest-guys-we-cool-we-cool dept.

Google 326

We've recently been following the FCC's inquiry into Apple's rejection of the Google Voice app. Apple, Google, and AT&T have all officially responded to the FCC's questions: Apple says they haven't actually rejected the app, they're just continuing to "study it," and that it may "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." The interesting bits of Google's response seem to have been redacted, but they talk a little about the approval process for the Android platform. AT&T claims it had "no role" in the app's rejection and notes that there are no contractual provisions between the two companies for the consideration of individual apps. Reader ZuchinniOne points out a report in The Consumerist analyzing some of the statements made in these filings, as well as TechCrunch's look into the veracity of their claims.

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"Over" Google Voice? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29164853)

If they're all communicating via Google Voice, then the app clearly works, so this whole issue is moot. Right?

Dupe Summary: Apple Is The Bad Guy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29164917)

Summary of this dupe:

Apple is the bad guy who is preventing iPhone owners from using the hottest cellphone app, Google Voice. They flat out admitted it in the FCC response. Much gnashing of teeth and hair pulling from the "Apple can do no wrong. Teh iPhone is teh best thing EVER!!! crowd".

AT&T has nothing to do with Apple's PR disaster.

Lots of screaming and crying from Apple loonies and all sorts of kooky theories trying to make Apple out to not be the culprit "Apple is lying to cover AT&T to the FCC!!!"

Android, Blackberry, and Palm owners not caring and loving Google Voice.

The Steve Jobs method of living? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165061)

1) Be abusive generally.

2) Get cancer.

3) Lie about Google Voice.

4) Die?

Re:The Steve Jobs method of living? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165311)

1) Be abusive generally.

2) Get cancer.

3) Lie about Google Voice.

4) Die?

5) Ascend to heaven in a fiery chariot.

6) Prophet!

Re:The Steve Jobs method of living? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165717)

7) Facing Chinese government/regulator's probing

Re:Dupe Summary: Apple Is The Bad Guy (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 5 years ago | (#29165257)

Android, Blackberry, and Palm owners not caring and loving Google Voice.

As a G1 owner who happily uses GV on a daily basis, I have to say you're dead on about that "not caring" part.

Re:Dupe Summary: Apple Is The Bad Guy (4, Funny)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 5 years ago | (#29165335)

In fact, they don't care so much that they're making slashdot posts about it!

Re:Dupe Summary: Apple Is The Bad Guy (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 5 years ago | (#29165577)

In fact, they don't care so much that they're making slashdot posts about it!

Well, this is Slashdot. I don't have to care to post on something, especially in a forum where anything remotely anti-Apple generates so many entertaining responses.

Re:Dupe Summary: Apple Is The Bad Guy (1)

ottothecow (600101) | about 5 years ago | (#29165719)

Where is my native S60 app?

Come on google, throw me a bone here

the point (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 5 years ago | (#29164869)

alter the iPhone's distinctive user experience

Isn't that the whole point of iphone apps?

Re:the point (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29165113)

Apple does have a "distinctive experience" but at a huge cost, like a Lexus or Acura or Chrysler vehicle. Apple charges me around $100 each year to upgrade my G4 Mac from 10.3 to 10.4 to 10.5, whereas Microsoft charged me *nothing* to upgrade from XP to XP-SP1 to SP2 to SP3. Over the last seven years using Wintel OS has been free, where using Apple's OS has been costly.

You see:

Some of us are trying to save money. We care about using aps like Google Voice which help save some cash, and Apple's blocking of this money-saving feature really pi - [bkspc] [bkspc] [bkspc] - annoys me.

upgrade versus... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165327)

update

You can see I'm not being flippant by making a side-by-side of what each path offers. Also, your OS X updates were free.

I suppose your response will determine whether or not your first comment warranted a Flamebait mod.

Re:upgrade versus... (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29165563)

>>>>>Apple charges me around $100 each year to upgrade

>>update. You can see I'm not being flippant by making a side-by-side of what each path offers. Also, your OS X updates were free.

I apologize, but I don't understand what you mean by comparing the words "upgrade" versus "update", and since English spans the entire world, it's doubtful these words mean the same thing across international borders. Where I live (USA) these two words are interchangeable. I could have just as easily said I "updated" from 10.3 to 104. to 10.5 and so on.

ANYWAY..... let me put it this way so you can better understand my point - I bought my current Wintel OS (XP) in 2002. I'm still using it after all these years. If I was still using the Mac OS that I had in 2002, it would essentially be unusable. QED the wintel OS is cheaper (no money spent in 7 years) versus the Mac OS, because I had spend money to keep my Mac working.

I always look at the bottom line.
"Free" looks pretty damn good.

Re:upgrade versus... (3, Insightful)

g0at (135364) | about 5 years ago | (#29165909)

If I was still using the Mac OS that I had in 2002, it would essentially be unusable. QED the wintel OS is cheaper (no money spent in 7 years) versus the Mac OS, because I had spend money to keep my Mac working.

Since my time and productivity are worth money, the amount I have saved by using Mac OS X over Windows over that same period is orders of magnitude larger than the cost of Microsoft's OS.

-b

Re:the point (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 5 years ago | (#29165369)

Okay, fanboys, stop modding reasonable comments like the above as flamebait ... your bias is showing. Matter of fact, his reasoning is some of the same that I used in deciding to buy an Android phone over an iPhone, as slick as Apple's product happens to be. Personally, I don't care about Apple's endless pursuit of the perfect UI. I just wanted a powerful smartphone that would do what I (yes, I, the customer) want it to do, without having my options limited by a company I don't particularly trust. Fortunately, Apple's not a monopoly and I was perfectly free to choose something else, so I don't really care. It is interesting, though, that it appears that AT&T was not, in fact, trying to suppress an application/service that might cost it money as many first assumed. Not that I believe anything any corporate mouthpiece has to say, just on principle.

In the end, I suspect that iPhone users will get access to Google Voice: Apple's just taking a little too much heat on this one, and GV is just too cool. Sorry, fanboys, Apple does not have a monopoly on being way-cool. Alternatively, of course, AT&T could offer something functionally identical to Google Voice ... theoretically it would be much easier for them to do it, given that they own so much of the network in this country. If Google achieves nothing else by this, they'll have raised the bar on what millions of people expect from their telephone company. That's a damned good thing: those bloodsuckers have been holding us back for a long, long time.

The irony there being that the old AT&T was originally broken up, in part, because they weren't offering consumers enough new products and services. It took a Google to come along and start shaking things up, and not for the first time I might add.

Re:the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165637)

Apple only want customers who will use their products the way APlle wants

Re:the point (0, Troll)

dissy (172727) | about 5 years ago | (#29165699)

No, comadore64_love has spouted this same lie in every apple related post, and it has been pointed out time and time again it is not true and a lie.

Windows 95 -> 98 -> NT -> 2000 -> XP are all separate products one pays for. They are all Windows.

OS X 2 3 4 and 5 are all seperate products one pays for. They are all OS X (10)

Not to mention apple only charged for every Other version, something I wish MS would have concidered doing like with 95 -> 98 or 2k -> XP. Alas, MS choose to charge for those too, making them more extensive.

Just because comodore64_love last purchased windows 95 and now is running a pirated XP and pirated versions between, that does not mean they are free upgrades.

And if he is willing to pirate windows up to XP to claim they are free, why not just pirate macos the same way and say they are free too?

It is nothing but a troll, and those that keep modding proven lies as insightful are clearly gaming the system

Re:the point (5, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 years ago | (#29166045)

Windows 95 -> 98 -> NT -> 2000 -> XP are all separate products one pays for. They are all Windows.

OS X 2 3 4 and 5 are all seperate products one pays for. They are all OS X (10)

This is patently absurd on multiple levels. The time period's don't line up, and the Windows sequence you illustrated is nonsense.

First, you are mixing two separate windows lines. NT4 came out in 96, it its absurd that people would have "upgraded" from Windows 98 to NT, and because of their separate functions few if anyone upgraded from NT to 98 either. Perhaps you meant ME? But that's irrelevant, practically nobody upgraded from 98 to ME, nor had any reason to. ME was only released because 2000 wasn't ready for the home market. So at best people went from 98 to ME or 2000 but not through both. But most went straight from 98 to XP, and only got ME new if it was on a PC released in that window between ME and XP.

Realistically, from 95 to XP you upgraded twice: Either you went from NT4-2K-XP or 95-98-XP. Because the average lifespan of a PC is 3-4 years, most people NEVER paid to upgrade at all, and just got the new version on their new PC.

Second, the reality is that ALL the above windows happened before OSX10.2 was even released. To take Windows back to 95 you HAVE to go back to 95 with MacOS. That means in addition to 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, you have to count: System 7. MacOS8, MacOS8.5, MacOS9, OSX 10.0 & OSX 10.1. That's 10 versions of the Apple OS in the same time frame as Microsoft had 3. Now, the same hardware cycle applies to OSX to Mac's as PCs, and indeed there is simply no way to run OSX10.5 on a PC that ran System 7. But still, that's enough releases to essentially require you to upgrade your OS every year that you don't replace your Mac. Granted you can skip the odd release, but Apple is a lot more demanding about having current software. Windows 2000 is just now falling off the wagon for being supported by new software... how much new software will run on OS9? Or even 3 versions later 10.2?

Bottom line, MS really HAS given us a relatively free ride the last 7 years with XP, while Apple has released several paid upgrades in that time frame. No point in trying to dispute it.

However, that ride is over, as Vista was a paid upgrade, as is Windows 7, so the comparisons start balancing out again. And who knows when Windows 8(or whatever they'll call it) will be out, or whether we'll get another 5+ years of good support and free service packs. We might see that again, we might not, but I think we all expect 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.X(?) to keep coming out like clockwork.

So you CAN make a good argument against comodore64_love, but yours was not a good argument.

Re:the point (0, Flamebait)

slyn (1111419) | about 5 years ago | (#29166153)

Okay, fanboys, stop modding reasonable comments like the above as flamebait ... your bias is showing.

It has nothing to do with bias. To say that 10.N to 10.N+1 is the same as XP SP# to XP SP#+1 is at best a horrible misunderstanding, and at worst a malicious (towards Apple) lie. I'm going to lean more towards it being the latter in this situation, because

1: It's not $100 a year to upgrade, its about $50 a year since 10.3
2: It's a bullshit comparison anyways because you are comparing consistently upgrading to the newest OS on one side and consistently not upgrading on the other
3: If you ignore the fact that it's already a bullshit comparison because you are just pointing out that it costs money to upgrade your OS and doesn't cost money to not do so, it is still a weak comparison, because even though 10.N releases are not as big as Vista was to XP, 10.N releases are much bigger than Windows service packs.
4: Historically Microsoft has followed a 2-3 year release schedule similar to how Apple has the past 7 or so years, they charge more at retail per OS release than Apple does, and they will likely be returning to that sort of release schedule if the Vista to 7 turnover time is any indication. Think about it: 3.0 (1990) -> 3.1 (1992) -> win 95 -> win 98 -> win 2000/ME - > xp ('01) -- *6 freakin years* --> vista (early '07) -> Win 7 (sept 09?).

As to the actual Google Voice thing, I really don't care on anything more than on "the principle of it all" level. "Duplication of functionality" is a dubious reason for Apple to block any application for the phone, especially if the applications do so in a novel way like GV. For me, Google Voice seems like it would be cool if you don't have an iPhone or if you have lots of separate phone numbers, but otherwise I don't really see what is so revolutionary about it. If you don't have an iPhone the voicemail emails would be useful, but if you do have an iPhone it's just visual voicemail. That said if you do have lots of separate phone numbers, the idea of being able to configure which of your numbers ring depending on who is calling is pretty slick. Most everything else GV provides seems to be pretty standard stuff (call forwarding, call history, conference calling, etc). Really as far as I'm concerned the best thing to come as a result of GV is all the e-drama, because it's without a doubt been one of the (if not the) major factors in Apple's still meager but growing openness about the app store.

Re:the point (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 5 years ago | (#29165383)

But the updates between 10.3, 10.4, and 10.5 where more like going between Win2k, XP and Vista rather than service packs. Major changes, not just accumulated security updates, were introduced between each, as is my understanding. I haven't had a Mac in a right while, so I'm not entirely sure, but I think that's one of the major arguments. The 10.3.x, 10.4x, and 10.5.x updates were free but didn't introduce major new features.

Re:the point (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29165715)

>>>But the updates between 10.3, 10.4, and 10.5 where more like going between Win2k, XP and Vista rather than service packs.

Except the updates were more frequent than that. What Apples does is the equivalent to Microsoft charging users ~$100 each year to keep using their Windows OS, and my pockets are not so deep that I can afford to keep giving ANY company that kind of tribute.

Re:the point (1)

wtmoose (639328) | about 5 years ago | (#29166013)

This argument doesn't make sense because the upgrades are optional and cost does not accumulate. In other words, if you don't think the upgrade is worth ~$100, you can skip one or more cycles and still pay ~$100 when you do decide to upgrade.

Re:the point (1)

Me! Me! 42 (1153289) | about 5 years ago | (#29165769)

Right on, "bsDaemon,"
Also "Comador64 love" glosses over the fact that XP-SP(1-3) simply made XP usable (or safer to use) so they damn well better be free! Also the time period was "raather lonng" for just a "service pack."

And on another front: I am always amazed at the incredibly huge number of whiners out there -- as if any of it mattered? Lots of phones out there to choose from. Apple has no lock on the market. Just buy what you want and be done with it. Do these folks actually believe everyone else really cares what they think one way or the other? No, everyone else is buying what they want.
As I see it, people deserve to have what they want -- Windows, RIM, Android, Apple, whatever (and yes, it's a doulble edged sword -- You dumb shits deserve what you choose!) Oddly some people aren't happy unless everyone else is as happy (or pissed off) as they are about their own choices.

Re:the point (1)

TheGreenNuke (1612943) | about 5 years ago | (#29165843)

If you look at the version numbers going from Win2K to XP is like going from 10.3 to 10.4 or 10.4 to 10.5 as the MS version number went from 5.0 to 5.1. Vista however made the leap from 5.1 to 6.0. That would be like Apple's next OS jumping to 11.0 from the current 10.6.

Also Major Changes is something that needs to be defined. XP SP1 introduced USB 2.0 support, support for SATA Hard Drives larger than 137GB, and the "Set program access and defaults" utility. Depending on what you call major, these may fit the bill. These are things that can improve performance. Major changes in OS 10.6 are mostly cosmetic from what I can tell. Such as default gamma changed from 1.8 to 2.2, Expose displaying all open windows, and contextual menus on the dock having more options and a new look. Sure it was released as 64-bit, but so are most other current OS's, including the 8 year old XP. Yea it updates QT, which anyone can download for free. With that said, I feel the Microsoft SP's are more useful than the OSX upgrades. I can change cosmetic stuff through free third party software. Hell, MS even offers certain things that were included in Vista for download in XP (see Powershell)

So i'm not seeing what the major changes are from 10.x to 10.x+1 that required an extra $100, and thus have to agree with the GP.

Re:the point (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 5 years ago | (#29165391)

<quote>really pi - [bkspc] [bkspc] [bkspc] - annoys me.</p></quote>

Also, the joke is "really pi^H^H^Hannoys me."

Re:the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165523)

If you're going to be pedantic, at least learn to count.

Re:the point (5, Informative)

Discordantus (654486) | about 5 years ago | (#29165763)

Apple charges me around $100 each year to upgrade my G4 Mac from 10.3 to 10.4 to 10.5, whereas Microsoft charged me *nothing* to upgrade from XP to XP-SP1 to SP2 to SP3

That is hardly true. Upgrades once a year? 10.3 had a 1.5 year lifespan, 10.4 lasted almost 2.5 years, and 10.5 is nearing it's 2 year mark as well. Plus, the soon-to-come upgrade to 10.6 is only 29 bucks. Also, Windows service packs are minor updates, mostly for bugfixes and consolidated security patches; Apple doesn't charge for these minor updates either. All the OS X point upgrades (10.3, 10.4, 10.5) were *major* upgrades, packed with new features.

Over the last seven years using Wintel OS has been free, where using Apple's OS has been costly.

In other words, over the last seven years, Windows has not released any new features. And you're ignoring Vista, which you apparently were not forced to upgrade to; Interestingly, you weren't forced to upgrade to 10.3, 10.4 or 10.5, either. You always have the option not to buy; if you don't think the feature set of a particular release is big enough, wait for the next one, and you get double the features for the same price.

Reverse engineering (5, Interesting)

jlintern (1169449) | about 5 years ago | (#29164877)

Apple says they haven't actually rejected the app, they're just continuing to "study it," and that it may "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."

So Apple is holding Google's app in limbo until they have time to reverse engineer the functionality and release it as native functionality of the iPhone?

Re:Reverse engineering (-1, Troll)

Krneki (1192201) | about 5 years ago | (#29164909)

Apple says they haven't actually rejected the app, they're just continuing to "study it," and that it may "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."

So Apple is holding Google's app in limbo until they have time to reverse engineer the functionality and release it as native functionality of the iPhone?

No, they are just acting gay. :)

Re:Reverse engineering (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29164955)

What, are they sucking your dick?

Re:Reverse engineering (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165209)

No, I'm pretty sure Apple doesn't suck fanboi dick. It's the other way around.

Re:Reverse engineering (1)

ottothecow (600101) | about 5 years ago | (#29164969)

So Apple is holding Google's app in limbo until they have time to reverse engineer the functionality and release it as native functionality of the iPhone?

That's ok with me...I tried an add-on app on my S60 phone (though admittedly not one developed by google) and the google voice stuff was like jumping through hoops when you wanted to use it. I would love it to be native functionality

Re:Reverse engineering (4, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | about 5 years ago | (#29164989)

What's there to "reverse engineer"? Apple already has a competing product, MobileMe / me.com.

The difference between Google and Apple's products is that Google's product is free and isn't tied to any particular hardware platform and works well on many devices in addition to the iPhone. Apple doesn't want to offer that kind of product because they want to tie all their products together and lock their users in.

Re:Reverse engineering (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29165141)

>>>Google's product is free and isn't tied to any particular hardware platform ..... Apple doesn't want to offer that kind of product because they want to [monopolize the market and take away user choice].
>>>

There. More accurate.

Re:Reverse engineering (0, Redundant)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 years ago | (#29165285)

They don't have to reverse engineer it, they can just keep it in limbo forever if they want, it's safer that way.

And Google can never point and say "Hey, you rejected my app," because it will always be "under consideration" and possible eventual acceptance.

Apple isn't contractually required to ever give an accept/reject answer on an app submission (G)

Re:Reverse engineering (2, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | about 5 years ago | (#29165569)

Apple isn't contractually required to ever give an accept/reject answer on an app submission (G)

No, but the FCC and FTC may require them to, regardless of contract.

They don't have to reverse engineer it, they can just keep it in limbo forever if they want, it's safer that way.

If Apple can't compete with Google apps on their own hardware and platform, they have already lost.

Re:Reverse engineering (1)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | about 5 years ago | (#29166245)

What's there to "reverse engineer"? Apple already has a competing product, MobileMe / me.com.

The difference between Google and Apple's products is that Google's product is free and isn't tied to any particular hardware platform and works well on many devices in addition to the iPhone. Apple doesn't want to offer that kind of product because they want to tie all their products together and lock their users in.

Apple has an official, no-additional-cost MobileMe client for Windows. MobileMe works as effectively for Windows+Outlook+IE8 as it does on a Mac. (Which is not particularly well.)

Re:Reverse engineering (0, Redundant)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 years ago | (#29165265)

No, they're holding it in limbo until the FCC stops asking questions.

FCC here we come (2, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 years ago | (#29164947)

Article summary: Apple points the finger at AT&T, AT&T points the finger at Apple. All the consumer gets is the finger.

Re:FCC here we come (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 5 years ago | (#29165303)

>>>Apple points the finger at AT&T, AT&T points the finger at Apple. All the consumer gets is the finger. All the consumer gets is the finger.

Addendum:

Consumer gets angry and starts ordering Apple and AT&T products and never pays for them. Consumer gets last laugh.

Apple declares: "Fuck it, we're evil." (5, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | about 5 years ago | (#29164957)

After bricking unlocked iPhones, kicking applications off the iPhone store that might even slightly compete with anything Apple or AT&T might vaguely think about in the far future and filing a wave of patents on basic well-known computer science, Apple Inc. today filed a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission declaring that it was openly adopting Evil(tm) [today.com] as a corporate policy.

"Fuck it," said Steve Jobs to an audience of soul-mortgaged thralls, "we're evil. But our stuff is sooo good. You'll keep taking our abuse. You love it, you worm. Because our stuff is great. It's shiny and it's pretty and it's cool and it works. It's not like you'll go back to Windows Mobile. Ha! Ha!"

Steve Ballmer of Microsoft was incensed at the news. "Our evil is better than anyone's evil! No-one sweats the details of evil like Microsoft! Where's your antitrust trial, you polo-necked bozo? We've worked hard on our evil! Our Zune's as evil as an iPod any day! I won't let my kids use a lesser evil! We're going to do an ad about that! I'll be in it! With Jerry Seinfeld! Beat that! Asshole."

"Of course, we're still not evil," said Sergey Brin of Google. "You can trust us on this. Every bit of data about you, your life and the house you live in is strictly a secret between you and our marketing department. But, hypothetically, if we were evil, it's not like you're going to use Windows Live Search. I mean, 'Bing.' Ha! Ha! I'm sorry, that's my 'spreading good cheer' laugh. Really."

Dinosaurs (4, Insightful)

jeffasselin (566598) | about 5 years ago | (#29164977)

Just like the RIAA, the MPAA, and other such entities, the cellular and phone companies are dinosaurs of an early technological age, and they are holding us back.

Cellular networks should, just like line-based internet access utilities, be simply network providers that sell access to their network from any standards-compliant device we want to use. Everything would just be another end-point of the Internet on a TCP/IP network, with different applications providing diverse needs: voice, video, pictures, text are nothing but data. Sell your consumers data transfer and connection capabilities and let us choose what we want to do with this access, instead of trying to profit from stupid things like SMS and infinitely complex plans: in the end, the cellular providers would benefit from this kind of system, as more uses would emerge out of the free-market system and would end up giving them more customers. Things would be simpler, access would be cheaper too. Everyone would win.

Re:Dinosaurs (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165165)

You mean, "US mobile carriers should act more like the ones they have in the rest of the world", right?

In the last 4 years, I've been to 16 different countries on 4 continents. In every one of them -- except one -- I've had reliable, reasonably-priced access within 30 seconds of turning my phone back on after landing or crossing the border. Even in a village in freaking *Cambodia* where most people didn't even have running water, for cryin' out loud.

Except one. The US.

I have a Swedish and an Australian SIM card. Each of which cost less than US$ 10 and included a bunch of minutes and free or nearly-free (international!) texting and cheap and easy-to-get refills. Both of which "just work" every place I've tried to use them.

Except one. The US... where they want 10 times that much just for the SIM and they can't even guarantee that it'll work in both Florida and New Jersey!

(If you're curious -- Yes, I was stupid enough to lay out $100 just so I could use my phone in the US for about 10 days. And No, it did not.)

Re:Dinosaurs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165495)

The rumor is that Apple is about to sign a large iPhone deal (~5 million phones) with a Chinese mobile carrier. If you think this FCC probing is interesting, wait until Apple/Steve Job faces probing from Chinese government and regulator.

Re:Dinosaurs (3, Insightful)

Jared555 (874152) | about 5 years ago | (#29165519)

Unfortunately the best option is probably buying a $10-$20 tracfone (or other pay as you guy) specifically for the trip to the US.

It shouldn't be that way, of course, but typically at least then you aren't locked to specific towers, etc.

Re:Dinosaurs (3, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | about 5 years ago | (#29165819)

Why should the US cellular companies cater to people that like foreign technology? Foreign cell phones are cheaper, more numerous in options, have less features removed from the hardware via firmware, etc, etc.

The US cellular companies make their money based on contracts. When they can sell you a $50 phone for $200 without contract, or give it to you free with a two year contract, why should they change? They're extremely profitable right now. It's not in their best interests to change.

Re:Dinosaurs (1)

He who knows (1376995) | about 5 years ago | (#29166251)

Guess you haven't been to the UK.

Re:Dinosaurs (5, Interesting)

speedtux (1307149) | about 5 years ago | (#29165795)

Just like the RIAA, the MPAA, and other such entities, the cellular and phone companies are dinosaurs of an early technological age, and they are holding us back.

In Europe, you can use any phone on any carrier. You can effectively stream audio, video, and whatever else you like and the carriers don't really care. You do get unlimited 3G flat rates for under $30/month.

The only major phone that doesn't work that way? You guessed it: Apple's iPhone.

Far from freeing the US market from SIM locking and carrier lock-in, Apple is trying to export the evil of the US cellular market to Europe.

"Studying the issue" (2)

Jewbird (596227) | about 5 years ago | (#29164997)

For six weeks. While being no closer to a "decision."

Apple's "End User Experience"... (4, Insightful)

rmdyer (267137) | about 5 years ago | (#29165005)

How could Apple possibly know what "end user experience" best suits me? If I install Google Voice, then that -IS- the end user experience I want! If Microsoft pulled that, they would get dinged for trying to push out the competition. Replace "Google Voice" with "IE" for example in Apple's reply, and "iPhone" with "Windows". This is exactly why the iPhone software environment is poison. Apple should not be allowed to decide what kind of "end user experience" I want on my hardware. Yes, if I purchased the hardware from Apple for the "hardware experience", then that means that I liked the "hardware experience" over other vendors, but that doesn't mean I like, or should be required to use their software! All "computing devices" should be "reconfigurable" using software, thats why software exists! Not to lock you into some Nazi form of "I know best what is for you" mentality. Open the devices up vendors!

Related: Buy the phone first, then choose your cell service vendor! NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! Enough with hardware-cell service vendor tie-up aggreements!

Re:Apple's "End User Experience"... (1)

rmdyer (267137) | about 5 years ago | (#29165199)

Error addendum.

Where the following line was stated:
      'Replace "Google Voice" with "IE" for example in Apple's reply, and "iPhone" with "Windows".'
this should have read,
      'Replace "Google Voice" with "Firefox" for example in Apple's reply, and "iPhone" with "Windows".'

Dyslexia because of thinking too fast.

Re:Apple's "End User Experience"... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165509)

How could Apple possibly know what "end user experience" best suits me?

Simple - it's the one they tell you best suits you.

You didn't think Apple got to where it is by offering people choice did you?

If I install Google Voice, then that -IS- the end user experience I want!

Which is exactly why they don't offer it. If they allowed you to install what you want on the hardware you've purchased, it would stop being theirs, and start becoming yours - which is the *last* thing they want!

Re:Apple's "End User Experience"... (1)

Eil (82413) | about 5 years ago | (#29166271)

Apple should not be allowed to decide what kind of "end user experience" I want on my hardware.

Solution: Don't buy Apple hardware.

I love my iPhone (1)

djfuq (1151563) | about 5 years ago | (#29165025)

Yes this is sad - but you know what I would do the moment I had this app on my phone? Drop my minutes to 0 and simply pay for the data plan. I doubt AT&T allows that, and I really don't feel like going to their site or calling them to find out. We are all searching for the power to exploit a resource for personal gain just like the monolithic entities we despise.

That is not how Google Voice works (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165179)

To make a Google Voice call you need phone service.
1) You tell GV what number you wish to call (dest number) at from which phone you wish to make that call (source number)
2) GV calls you at your source phone number (ie your cell phone number)
3) GV calls the destination number
4) You are now in a 3-way conference call with the source number,the destination number, and GV central

GV isn't VoIP.
It is an interesting use of a 3-way calling service.

Your GV number isn't really "your" phone number. It is more like an agent or message service (like your Dr has) number. You actually can't make calls to/from the GV number. The GV number is only for forwarding (receive) & 3-way calling (send).

syncing already possible (1)

speedtux (1307149) | about 5 years ago | (#29165033)

I don't quite understand what the big fuss is about with syncing. You can already sync iPhone contacts and calendars with Google accounts easily; see here [google.com] for how to set that up.

Google Voice doesn't need to sync Google contacts; in fact, it shouldn't, because that would conflict with the synchronization that already exists.

You have to assume Google is lying (0, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | about 5 years ago | (#29165051)

The big problem is that confidential response section. At casual inspection, you might want to think that each question is pretty independent and Google is trying to be above board, but have some company confidential stuff inside that one question. But, this is corporate law and the most logical thing is to assume that the whole response might well be designed to deceive with the operative part being in the part that was redacted. I would almost never trust a redacted document as anything meant to do anything other than to deceive. If you are not providing the full information, you are not telling the truth. To withhold is to lie.

Re:You have to assume Google is lying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165345)

So you are saying "the parts that have been cut are missing" and this somehow becomes Interesting?

This is why I love slashdot. Well, on second thought, this is why I hate it...

Re:You have to assume Google is lying (4, Informative)

Otterley (29945) | about 5 years ago | (#29165367)

The FCC redacted that part, not Google, presumably on behalf of Google because the Apple Developer Agreement makes your communications with Apple confidential (subject to law enforcement inquiries). The FCC *does* possess the redacted parts of Google's response.

Re:You have to assume Google is lying (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 years ago | (#29165579)

The agreement with Apple requires confidentiality with regards to the app approval process.

iPhone developers are bound by contract with Apple not to make information available to the public about communications with Apple over the app review.

Karlan Mitchell (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165067)

Someone is lying, this is why.

1. Apple has stated that they aren't sure how the Google voice application works, is it VoIP, telephone, ect, ect
2. AT&T's contract with apple explicitly states they must be contacted when a VoIP app is being approved.
3. Both parties claim to of had not contact with each other, a violation of AT&T ToS for Apple

I smell something funny......

btw. The application is not VoIP, its a telephone route, which would cut into AT&T's outrageous international rates
                for phone calls (however have no affect on local call's price); I only state the above because Apple claimed it
                could possibly be VoIP (even though its easy to find information on how it works, they are just buying time)
                and we know apple should of immediately contacted AT&T if this was even a possibility.

Re:Karlan Mitchell (1, Troll)

andre_pl (1607319) | about 5 years ago | (#29165739)

3. Both parties claim to of had ...

and we know apple should of immediately ...

really?
seriously?

*sigh*

Re:Karlan Mitchell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29166207)

"to have not had"
"should have"....

fixed, douchebag

Not the reason (2, Interesting)

drhamad (868567) | about 5 years ago | (#29166233)

No, because VOIP, while a concern, according to these documents, was not the reason for the rejection (or postponement). Rather, mimicking of core iPhone functionality was.

Re:Not the reason (1)

karlanm (1623467) | about 5 years ago | (#29166305)

I wasn't saying this is why it was denied, I'm just saying there are lying when they say: "Apple is acting alone and has not consulted with AT&T about whether or not to approve the Google Voice application. No contractual conditions or non-contractual understandings with AT&T have been a factor in Appleâ(TM)s decision-making process in this matter." This is the hint....... Question 3. Does AT&T have any role in the approval of iPhone applications generally (or in certain cases)? If so, under what circumstances, and what role does it play? What roles are specified in the contractual provisions between Apple and AT&T (or any non-contractual understandings) regarding the consideration of particular iPhone applications? Apple alone makes the final decisions to approve or not approve iPhone applications. "There is a provision in Appleâ(TM)s agreement with AT&T that obligates Apple not to include functionality in any Apple phone that enables a customer to use AT&Tâ(TM)s cellular network service to originate or terminate a VoIP session without obtaining AT&Tâ(TM)s permission. Apple honors this obligation, in addition to respecting AT&Tâ(TM)s customer Terms of Service, which, for example, prohibit an AT&T customer from using AT&Tâ(TM)s cellular service to redirect a TV signal to an iPhone. From time to time, AT&T has expressed concerns regarding network efficiency and potential network congestion associated with certain applications, and Apple takes such concerns into consideration. Question 4. Please explain any differences between the Google Voice iPhone application and any Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications that Apple has approved for the iPhone. Are any of the approved VoIP applications allowed to operate on AT&Tâ(TM)s 3G network? Apple does not know if there is a VoIP element in the way the Google Voice application routes calls and messages, and whether VoIP technology is used over the 3G network by the application. Apple has approved numerous standard VoIP applications (such as Skype, Nimbuzz and iCall) for use over WiFi, but not over AT&Tâ(TM)s 3G network." This is all speculation if you haven't guessed, but I feel something is going on. Considering the response is exactly the corporate BS you'd expect. Similar to "I'm sorry you feel that way" and "Im happy to assist in any way necessary to resolve this problem", but they don't care, and they don't want to resolve your problem.

curious situation: iphone more google than apple (4, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | about 5 years ago | (#29165087)

From TFconsumeristA:

Multiple sources at Google tell us that in informal discussions with Apple over the last few months Apple expressed dismay at the number of core iPhone apps that are powered by Google. Search, maps, YouTube, and other key popular apps are powered by Google. Other than the browser, Apple has little else to call its own other than the core phone, contacts and calendar features.

Heh, that's a funny situation for Apple to be in. I guess Apple is no longer interested in just selling you the hardware and a good OS, they want to sell you a substantial number of the applications as well. I seem to recall Microsoft engaging some similar behavior awhile back, something about web browsers and being able to remove them.

I just got an ipod touch recently (it was free with rebate) and frankly, I find that Apple is unnecessarily confining the device. I've been using their laptops and desktops for years, with OS X, I've always thought that it was an incredible benefit to them to have it run on BSD, run MS Office, run Photoshop, run X11 so I can run GIMP and just about every other linux app out there, etc. etc. etc. With the phone, they confine you so much that if it weren't for the possibility to jailbreak it, I probably would have given it away to a family member.

The point is that, as a long time Apple user, I'm really starting to get a little bothered by their increasing amount of attempts to force me to use their stuff the way they want me to rather than the way I want to use it. That sort of behavior earned MS my distrust long, long ago.

Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | about 5 years ago | (#29165227)

Oh and incidentally, I was just thinking about why I thought that jailbreaking was such a boon, and there's a couple of reasons. First, winterboard just rocks my socks. I love screwing around with themes, fonts and icons. Second, the ssh functionality. Ever since Google released fuse for the mac I've been hooked. I now use rsync and sshfs to backup everything on my desktop, to make certain folders on my laptop mirror my desktop, and seamlessly share files with my home linux cluster, PC, and laptop that run debian. I just started using leopard lately and haven't even gotten around to looking at time machine because rsync works so well --it an incredibly good file sharing solution, much easier than AFS, SFTP, samba or anything else I've tried. By installing openssh on the iphone, I can extend all that great functionality to the ipod touch and it's just wonderful.

Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | about 5 years ago | (#29165283)

er, make that linux cluster (at work), home linux PC and linux laptop. I don't really run a linux cluster at home.

Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (4, Insightful)

Reverberant (303566) | about 5 years ago | (#29165301)

Heh, that's a funny situation for Apple to be in. I guess Apple is no longer interested in just selling you the hardware and a good OS, they want to sell you a substantial number of the applications as well.

I don't think it's about Apple wanting to see you a substantial number of apps, I think it's about Apple not wanting the core features of their phone to be based on the whims of a third party. It's kinda like the situation of Office on the Mac back in the 90's when MS threatened to kill Office which would have basically ended corporate use of Macs.

Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | about 5 years ago | (#29165499)

It's kinda like the situation of Office on the Mac back in the 90's when MS threatened to kill Office which would have basically ended corporate use of Macs.

That's a very good point, along with what the AC said below about, "What if Google really is evil?" But why didn't Apple go out and say that then? Oh wait, they did:

The Google Voice application replaces Apple's Visual Voicemail by routing calls through a separate Google Voice telephone number that stores any voicemail, preventing voicemail from being stored on the iPhone, i.e., disabling Apple's Visual Voicemail. Similarly, SMS text messages are managed through the Google hub--replacing the iPhone's text messaging feature. In addition, the iPhone user's entire Contacts database is transferred to Google's servers, and we have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways. These factors present several new issues and questions to us that we are still pondering at this time.

Well shit, no wonder Apple is pissed, Google's app comes in and boots out all their own applications! If it were my phone I was selling, I'd be pissed too. From Apple's account, it sounds more like Google's app is acting more like a virus or malware than an application. I had thought that Google's app was installed alongside the Apple one, but it seems that Google is acting a lot more viciously here.

Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29166139)

Despite what they're saying, Apple does not care in the least bit what companies do if they copy all of the contacts off of your phone. Apple has approved an application called iDrive Lite, which the company uses to harvest e-mail addresses and spam them with advertisements of their services. If Apple really cared about what people were doing with harvested contacts, they would have yanked this app instead of approving it and then re-approving it after it temporarily disappeared from the store.

Incidentally, don't use iDrive. They're spammers and thieves.

Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29166157)

apple is flat out lying about this. the google voice app does not replace the native dialer, contacts, SMS, etc - anything. it lives side by side with the native stuff.

Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165877)

If the features of google voice become core features of the iPhone by virtue of not being offered at all by apple/att, maybe Apple should offer some core features that have the same functionality. Google Voice is incredibly useful, and what someone *could* do with something similar is even more impressive. Just look at the list of "feedback" features that people can vote on for google's consideration.

Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (1)

MindDelay (675385) | about 5 years ago | (#29166111)

no one is forcing anyone to install this software though. if the user wants to replace the "core functionality" they should be able to. apple is just wrong here.

Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165395)

People, Apple has approved over 60,000 applications. The issue is that Google us exteacting your entire contacts list from the iPhone to their application. What if Goole really is evil? Ever thought of that? We are all so blinded by Google. How do they make money, you'll then realize they want your contacts to keep that cashflow.

Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29166293)

Do you really need an answer to the question "How do they make money?"? Have you ever BEEN on the internet before?

Re:curious situation: iphone more google than appl (1)

hansguckindieluft (1228846) | about 5 years ago | (#29165589)

I guess Apple is no longer interested in just selling you the hardware and a good OS, they want to sell you a substantial number of the applications as well. I seem to recall Microsoft engaging some similar behavior awhile back, something about web browsers and being able to remove them.

It maybe sth. obvious that I overlook. But does anybody know why (or on what basis) cellphones are treated so differently from computers? or even macs from pcs? Microsoft can be sued for inclueding IE with windows. Is Apple not doing the same with safari?

And when it comes to cellphones with web functionality, afaik there is always a browser included as well, but I've never heard about a lawsuit against nokia for preinstalling their browser. now the cellphone OS and application market is different from that of pcs I guess because of non-existing standards?

On a more abstract level, given some piece of hardware (pc,cellphone, console, mac ...), and a task (e.g. browsing the web) that can be performed by combining the hardware's components (e.g. keyboard,cpu,ram,modem,...) at what point does the law(?) require equal opportunities for producers of software applications (browsers) that can perform this task.

Obviously the browser market on Iphones does not provide those equal opportunities...

Blowing smoke (1, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 5 years ago | (#29165095)

First, let me say that I do like Apple. I have a MacBook Pro (which I'm typing this post from right now), I have an iPhone and love it, but I don't consider myself a "fanboy."

Having said that, Apple's statement is full of shit. Here's the story in a nutshell, straight from Apple itself:

There is a provision in Apple's agreement with AT&T that obligates Apple not to include functionality in any Apple phone that enables a customer to use AT&T's cellular network service to originate or terminate a VoIP session without obtaining AT&T's permission.

How Apple can say with a straight face that AT&T is not a factor in their rejection-by-indefinite-"studying" of Google's VoIP app, and how anyone could actually believe it, is beyond me.

Apple is trying to Clinton its way out of getting in trouble by stating things that, while technically true according to literal interpretation, grossly misrepresent the state of *ahem* affairs. Did AT&T call up Apple and say, "Please kill the Google Voice app"? Probably not. They were proactive when they first constructed the contract so that they wouldn't have to.

It says right there in Apple's statement that they agreed not to allow VoIP apps on AT&T's network. Google Voice is a VoIP app. Apple knows that if they allow it through, AT&T will sue them. They don't need a consultation for that. AT&T, in true "screw everyone" fashion, put Apple in the position so that if just such a thing as this happens (as it was bound to happen), it will be Apple that will take the black eye for it, not AT&T.

Not that Apple is totally innocent, mind you. They foolishly got into bed with AT&T, and now, they are waking up the next morning and hopefully realizing what a nasty-ass bitch she really is. In order to get the iPhone on the market, they sold out their end users. If Apple has a brain cell among the people in charge of the company, and I really do think they do, then hopefully this whole mess makes it painfully obvious that it is not in Apple's long-term best interest to maintain an exclusive contract with AT&T, and that the sooner they can get out of it and sell iPhones that work with other providers, the better. It is the only way that they will be able to grow their marketshare.

Re:Blowing smoke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165583)

You had me until you mentioned that Google Voice is a VoIP app. For the last time Google Voice uses your phone service to connect to them to provide phone service. Besides the interface, nothing voice related goes over the data plan. I really wish people would actually read what service Google is actually providing before they critique the situation. I am sure that the reasons are still valid as this service from Google does interfere with AT&T's massive control. Read the FCC Q&A posted up on Scribd if you are unsure but please figure out what Google actually does provide.

babies (0, Flamebait)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | about 5 years ago | (#29165097)

here's the thing. the iphone is an amazing device.

everyone is begging google to own them. oh, they give me so much free storage! oh, they support 'open source'!

i think what im really missing is, why does anyone have the right to install whatever they want on the device? you weren't handed this phone in a government mandate. hell, you can jailbreak the damn thing if you really want to take control of it.

you want GV? get an android phone. before i considered getting my own iphone (about 6 mo ago), i tried out the G1. say you'd never heard of either company in your life, and someone put an iphone and an android phone in front of you and had you make a few phone calls, send a few SMS, check out the browser.

how much do you think you can seperate hardware from software? there's not some nice little line where it makes sense to make a seperation. this is why my thinkpad, running ubuntu, is in general a much worse user experience than using an integrated solution. the vertical integration has created unmatched quality and usability of products. get the government out of this. the government is inherently reactive and slow, technology is proactive. you've got other options, so let apple create freely

Re:babies (5, Insightful)

geekboy642 (799087) | about 5 years ago | (#29165217)

why does anyone have the right to install whatever they want on the device?

I invite you to study the concept of ownership. If I pay $600 for a piece of hardware, I have every right to do whatever I want with it. It's the whole point of buying hardware, honestly. If I wanted a restricted environment with no control, I'd rent my phone.
That said, AT&T should have the right to block my use of the network if they don't like what I'm doing on it, but at no point should Apple even slightly get involved. This 'walled garden' concept is harmful to consumers and developers alike.

Re:babies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165453)

"If I pay $600 for a piece of hardware, I have every right to do whatever I want with it." -> Okay, but is Apple required to help you do that? Seems to me you can jailbreak, etc... if you want options not available the approved list at the appstore.

Look, I think this is a pretty bush-league move by Apple, and it's hurting their carefully crafted image as good corporate citizens. But nobody's holding a gun to anyone's head saying "though shalt by an iPhone". In short, it's no secret that Apple are control freaks... when did caveat emptor go out of fashion?

Re:babies (1)

ls -la (937805) | about 5 years ago | (#29165857)

... That said, AT&T should have the right to block my use of the network if they don't like what I'm doing on it...

I must disagree with you there. AT&T is/should be a neutral service provider. IPhone users pay $30 every month for *unlimited* data bandwidth. That ought to mean, although in practice providers never acknowledge and rarely accept it, that the user can use as much bandwidth as they need/want/can doing whatever they want whenever they want (and as such a neutral carrier, the provider need not even ensure that such activity is legal).

As a sidenote, does anyone know what this app does that isn't available through the regular Google voice service and safari anyway? I don't think bandwidth should come into this at all, should it?

Re:babies (1)

Toonol (1057698) | about 5 years ago | (#29165233)

i think what im really missing is, why does anyone have the right to install whatever they want on the device?

There's only one person that has the right to install anything they want on the device.

The owner.

Re:babies (1)

PieSquared (867490) | about 5 years ago | (#29165315)

"WHy does anyone have the right to install whatever they want on the device?"

Because they own it.

Re:babies (0, Offtopic)

Colourspace (563895) | about 5 years ago | (#29165321)

Steve! Hows the new liver working out? Glad to see you back in the office.

Re:babies (1)

Deanalator (806515) | about 5 years ago | (#29165449)

Look at the Compaq vs IBM lawsuit over the reverse engineering of ROM-BIOS. If IBM had their way, the same company would be providing all hardware, software, and Internet service for desktop computers. You would have choices, but marketing groups would have complete control, end to end, of what technologies any given person is allowed to run on their own computers.

We are now looking at the same situation for mobile phones. Before they have gotten away with it, saying third party software might lead to performance decreases, and a "non contiguous user experiences", which means you aren't using your phone the way apples marketing group thinks you should.

Fuck it, GV Mobile kicks ass, and is installable via Cydia. The final kick in the balls solution for google is to release software to install android onto an iphone. It's going to happen sooner or later anyway, so they might as well invest in it now, and just finish off this debate once and for all. If apple and ATT go to war with google now, my money is on google.

Re:babies (1)

speedtux (1307149) | about 5 years ago | (#29165873)

i think what im really missing is, why does anyone have the right to install whatever they want on the device?

Because the FCC, FTC, and DOJ regulate what Apple can do. And they do so for good reason.

get the government out of this. the government is inherently reactive and slow, technology is proactive. you've got other options

The facts are obviously different: European and Asian cellular phone markets are much more efficient, precisely because the government prevents companies like Microsoft and Apple from monopolizing the market.

Re:babies (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | about 5 years ago | (#29166263)

Uh, because we don't live in a communist state where ownership is "shared" by everyone? If I BUY something it's my RIGHT to do with it whatever the frick I please, as long as I'm not hurting anyone else by doing it (like buying a gun and firing it in public).

Who cares about iPhone?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165207)

Gimme the Symbian S60 version of Google voice. I can't believe Google chose the tiny iPhone market over the massive S60 market.

Android makes sense for obvious reasons but their choice of iPhone before Symbian boggles my mind.

The reason google redacted it's complaint (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about 5 years ago | (#29165275)

I'm guessing that the reason google redacted the text of it's complaint is because it's clearly going to get what it wants. Google has no need to badmouth them in public. AT&T and Apple colluding to prevent competition looks really bad. It would have been much smarter for AT&T or apple to introduce enough latency and jitter into the data link to effectively block VoIP apps via inherent technical limitations.

TechCrunch reality distortion field (2, Insightful)

Egdiroh (1086111) | about 5 years ago | (#29165359)

TechCrunch claimed that apple's claims were untrue. They did this by ignoring the little bit were the purpose of google voice is to replace your existing phone service. So while they are correct that the google voice app does not rip out and replace these features, using google voice logically supplants them. If your phone identity is not your google identity and not your provider identity then the apple apps might as well be removed.

It's a completely bogus self serving argument. It's like arguing that it's not vehicular manslaughter because you struck a pedestrian, after all they could have not been in the way, so really they just used you as an agent of suicide.

Apple's position is clearly that by letting google extend their platform to the iphone they would clearly gain converts to it, but without letting apple control that environment they lose the ability to provide distinction, and maintain their competitive advantage.

whether or not, Apple's position has any validity is not is something that can and should be legitimately argued. But it should be argued at face value, not skirted around with logical fallacies.

Re:TechCrunch reality distortion field (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165413)

Mod parent up, techcrunch is full of shit, and has been proven repeatedly.

Re:TechCrunch reality distortion field (3, Informative)

forand (530402) | about 5 years ago | (#29165631)

I think you have misunderstood what Google Voice is. IT is NOT meant "to replace your existing phone service." As a matter of fact, you cannot use GV without an existing phone service. Furthermore, to use Google Voice to make a call it actually has to call you first then connect you to the person you where trying to call. Finally, why does Apple (or anyone other than myself) get a say in what I do with my existing phone service?

But yeah TechCrunch's article is full of it.

Re:TechCrunch reality distortion field (4, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | about 5 years ago | (#29165937)

Apple's position is clearly that by letting google extend their platform to the iphone they would clearly gain converts to it, but without letting apple control that environment they lose the ability to provide distinction, and maintain their competitive advantage.

Nobody is forcing users to install Google Voice. So, what you are saying is that if users have the choice, they will install Google Voice and not use Apple's services anymore.

So, you are basically saying that Apple's "competitive advantage" is in propping up an uncompetitive product (their services) with a good product (their phone hardware).

Just thought I'd put that into perspective for you.

That's why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165515)

I am a PC. Apple and AT&T rejected on the grounds that...

Apple doesn't like applications that repeat functions the iphone does... even if the rejected applcation does it BETTER and if people LIKE it more.

AT&T doesn't want texting and calls to be free. They want to make richies and rewardies off texting and calling. It's what they do best.

Google wants texting and various calls to be free, as well as cheap calls around the world. Google can easily find ways to make money while offering a free texting and calling service.

Google should win this battle.

Apple's published response looks like spin (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 years ago | (#29165627)

They asked Apple what percentage of apps were rejected, and they didn't answer the question:

Question 6. What are the standards for considering and approving iPhone applications? What is the approval process for such applications (timing, reasons for rejection, appeal process, etc.)? What is the percentage of applications that are rejected? What are the major reasons for rejecting an application?

Apple. Applications and marketing text are submitted through a web interface. Submitted applications undergo a rigorous review process that tests for vulnerabilities such as software bugs, instability on the iPhone platform, and the use of unauthorized protocols.

Applications are also reviewed to try to prevent privacy issues, safeguard children from exposure to inappropriate content, and avoid applications that degrade the core experience of the iPhone.

and roughly 20% of them are not approved as originally submitted.

Who cares about Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29165645)

iPhone... A lot of us (users of other Apple cheesed out products sold at unbelievable profit margins) avoided iPhone pretty much exclusively due to AT&T. Get ANY smart phone, get Google Voice, and get a real unlimited data-only plan, get Skype, and say "Fuck You" to the telecoms and their prices that haven't changed since 1995.

Free SMS, calls etc.? (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about 5 years ago | (#29165807)

If Apple do allow Google Voice, will that effectively allow free SMS and mobile calls?

I've read polar conclusions in two different places, so I don't know what to think.

If SMS etc. through Google Voice is free, then the only charge will be for the internet access (which byte for byte, is presumably orders of magnitude cheaper than SMS).

I just don't buy it. (3, Insightful)

phillymjs (234426) | about 5 years ago | (#29165981)

Google Voice stands to cost AT&T money. Apple won't lose a thing by offering it-- in fact, they stand to lose iPhone sales for rejecting it when apps for it are available on competing devices. In light of this, who is more likely to be the force behind the rejection?

As for the argument Apple is putting forward, that is just BS. If I put GV on my iPhone it's because I *want* it there.

And as for AT&T's argument, "Hey, look, we allow GV on other devices on our network!"-- No, it's not that they're allowed, it's that AT&T simply can't prevent them from being installed and used. Apple is the sole (official) gatekeeper to getting an app on the iPhone and under contract with AT&T, so it's clear they're doing AT&T's bidding here. I don't know why Apple is taking the lion's share of the blame by saying they're still evaluating it, but my guess would be some sort of quid pro quo with AT&T.

The whole thing stinks, and I hope the FCC realizes it and opens a can of whoop-ass.

~Philly

PS - Please learn WTF Google Voice does before commenting. It is NOT a VoIP application despite a dozen people saying or implying it is in their posts already.

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