Last week, the FCC began investigating the removal of Google Voice apps from the iTunes App Store. In a letter (PDF) sent to Apple on July 31, the FCC asked specifically why Apple rejected the Google Voice application for the iPhone and whether or not it acted alone or at the behest of, or perhaps in conjunction with, AT&T.
Apple has 3 weeks to answer the FCC’s questions, but in the meantime, AT&T, who is also being questioned on the recent app removals, issued a press release on the matter.
“AT&T does not manage or approve applications for the App Store. We have received the letter and will, of course, respond to it.”
Oh really, AT&T? Who are you trying to play, suckah?
It’s widely known that AT&T was the party responsible for keeping the Sling Player and NetShare apps off of the iPhone due to concerns of overwhelming bandwidth usage. And now AT&T is trying to act as if it had nothing to do with the removal of the Google Voice app when we’ve heard otherwise from the well-informed John Gruber? And now AT&T is trying to act like it’s hands are clean of this PR disaster?
If you want to get nit picky, I suppose that AT&T’s press release is technically 100% factual. I mean, Apple is the party responsible for actively managing and approving applications. But while AT&T may not approve applications, they sure as hell have the ability to disallow apps once they’ve already been approved by Apple. Talk about some clever PR work, right there.
So yeah, Apple might put out some corporate boiler plate about their working relationship with AT&T, and how everything is just peachy keen, but you can bet that AT&T’s attempt to pass the ball off to Apple on this one won’t win Ma Bell any more fans over in Cupertino. That is, if there are any left.