Apple and Google will sit down before the FCC later today and explain why Google Voice apps were removed from the iTunes App Store, a move which subsequently triggered a tremendous Apple backlash on the interwebs. From stories we’ve seen floating around on the web, AT&T was behind the apps removal, but it’ll still be interesting to see what representatives from Apple and Goole will have to say.
Of note, The USA Today points out that Google’s actions regarding Skype on Android will also be investigated.
Why: Consumers who use Android, the Google-developed operating system for wireless devices, can’t use Skype, a leading Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. A pioneer in free Internet calling, Skype allows you to talk as long as you want without draining cellphone minutes.
Android users get Skype Lite, a watered-down version of the original that routes calls over traditional phone networks — not the Internet. As a result, long-distance calls are still cheap or free, but cellphone minutes are gobbled up every time a Skype Lite call is made.
Funny how that little tidbit of info fails to generate any amount of press or protest whereas any misstep by Apple gets regurgitated and over analyzed to the nth degree. And just in case you were wondering, T-Mobile spokesman Joe Farren explicitly stated that it had “not asked Google to block” Skype, though Google claims it blocks VoIP apps at the request of “individual carriers.”