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AT&T responds on Google questions, throws Apple under the bus

Mel Martin

It's going to be interesting to watch the next few weeks as AT&T, Apple and Google respond to the FCC questions about which apps get approved for use on the iPhone.

Yesterday, AT&T responded to press questions about this by sending a P.R. email.

"AT&T does not manage or approve applications for the App Store. We have received the letter and will, of course, respond to it."

You betcha. The problem is that AT&T already publicly copped to keeping the Slingbox software off the Apple iPhone, while letting other bandwidth eaters like YouTube and MLB At Bat live video run without interference. And of course the Google Voice app and the Slingbox app are running fine on BlackBerry phones on the AT&T network. Slingbox is also running on Windows Mobile Smartphones. In conversations with one of the Slingbox developers, I was told Apple was fine with the app until AT&T got involved.

Of course, looking at the statement, it is carefully worded. AT&T does not manage or approve applications. Correct enough. In the case of the Slingbox software, they told Apple to knife it. I don't think the FCC will be amused by that particular dodge.

One wonders about the deteriorating state of friendship between Apple and AT&T. Recently, AT&T hinted that they don't expect to be the exclusive iPhone distributor forever, and Apple certainly held them up to a bit of ridicule at the June developer conference on MMS and tethering.

It must be fun on those Apple/AT&T conference calls as they prepare their responses to the FCC.

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