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.