Apple’s wrist slapped for banning Google Voice
by David Masters
August 5, 2009
Apple has received a stern letter from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking why it rejected the Google Voice for iPhone app and withdrew related third party apps from the iTunes App Store.
The letter asks Apple to clarify the precise reasons behind its decision to remove the applications.
It also questions Apple on the differences between VoIP applications which have been approved for the iTunes app store, and Google Voice.
Google Voice gives users a single number for their landline and mobile phones.
iPhone handset-owners in the US could have used the app to send free texts and make free calls.
“Recent press reports indicate that Apple has declined to approve the Google Voice application for the iPhone, and has removed related (and previously approved) third-party applications from the iPhone App Store,” the letter states.
“In light of pending FCC proceedings regarding wireless open access (RM-11361) and handset exclusivity (RM-11497), we are interested in a more complete understanding of this situation.”
Apple’s current policy is to block apps that duplicate existing iPhone functions.
A similar letter was sent to AT&T, the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in the US.
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