Apple rejected Google Voice, says Google

Ronny Kerr · September 18, 2009 · Short URL:

Google statement completely contradicts earlier statement made by Apple, in FCC investigation

When Google Voice failed to make it on the App Store when Google submitted it in July, developers, bloggers, and users alike united in an outcry against Apple for blocking yet another highly anticipated iPhone app. The noise was so loud that the FCC got involved, requesting information from Apple, AT&T, and Google about the cause of rejection.

Google Voice is a free application that grants users a single phone number that catches all their other phones—home,Google Voice for iPhone work, mobile—under one umbrella. Additionally, the application transcribes voice mails to text.

Because the service allows for free texts and cheap international calls, many in the tech community believed that Apple had simply rejected the app because its functionality was too similar to the basic functionality of the iPhone.

Apple tried to make the FCC think otherwise, however, saying in its letter that the app had not yet been rejected and that it was still under review. (This isn’t so unbelievable, considering how long Apple takes to approve apps to the App Store.)

Google’s statement, however, made public today, reveals that the larger tech community had guessed right. Directly contradicting Apple’s statement, Google’s letter reads, "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."

Nevertheless, Apple is not going back on its word: "We do not agree with all of the statements made by Google in their FCC letter," the company said today. "Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application and we continue to discuss it with Google."

Though the iPhone remains the most popular smartphone on the market, this is just one of many instances in which the device seems crippled when compared with Google Android phones. Just today, for example, yet another live video broadcasting-enabled application was made available on the Android Market, while equivalent apps on the App Store have live streaming blocked because of restrictions placed by Apple.

Now that the two large tech companies have issued seemingly opposite statements, it will be interesting to see where the FCC takes its investigations next.

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