Whoa -- we were just sent AT&T response to the FCC's investigation into the rejection of Google Voice apps from the iPhone app store, and Ma Bell isn't pulling any punches: according to the letter, AT&T "had no role in any decision by Apple to not accept the Google Voice application." That puts the ball pretty firmly in Apple's court, but it doesn't close the door on AT&T's involvement in App store approval shenanigans entirely, since the letter also says "AT&T has had discussions with Apple regarding only a handful of applications that have been submitted to Apple for review where, as described below, there were concerns that the application might create significant network congestion." Not only did that result in CBS and MobiTV killing the Final Four app's ability to stream video over 3G, it also explains what happened to SlingPlayer Mobile -- we'll see what the FCC says about that.Update:
And here come Apple and Google's responses as well! We're digesting everything as fast as we can, we're going to do this semi-liveblog style after the break, so grab a frosty and dive in.Update 2:
Okay, so we've read through all three filings and broken them down after the break. Our main takeaway? Apple's being pretty hypocritical by claiming on the one hand that the iPhone is at the forefront of a mobile revolution and then saying iPhone users can't figure out how Google Voice is different than the iPhone's built-in functionality on the other. Either your customers are paradigm-busting visionaries or they're not very smart at all, Apple -- you have to pick one. As for AT&T, well, it just seems like it's worried about its network above all else, and while we think it's ridiculous that it enforces the VoIP and SlingPlayer ban on the iPhone and not, say, Windows Mobile devices, we can see why the carrier would push those contract provisions hard. In the end, we're just hoping the FCC forces everyone involved to be more open and transparent about what they're doing and the deals they're making -- Apple's not necessarily exaggerating when it says these are entirely new problems, and whatever happens next will set a precedent for a long time to come.