Google Voice App Issue

  • Posted: 02 August 2009 02:55 PM

    I’m surprised we don’t have a topic on this issue already. Why do you think the Google Voice app was removed from the app store? Is Apple justified in removing apps of this kind? Do you think AT&T had any involvement in the decision?

         
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    Posted: 02 August 2009 03:25 PM #1

    Issue? What issue? smile Apple should have control of what they sell in the App Store. Pardon my language but if Google does not like it, f*** ‘em and feed them fish heads.

    Seriously, Apple should not have to sell a direct competitor’s product unless they want to. Should RIMM be required to sell OS X on their phones?

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  • Posted: 02 August 2009 03:34 PM #2

    Is this much ado about nothing or does the FCC have real anti-competitive concerns about apps of this kind not being available on smartphones or being removed from availability?

         
  • Posted: 02 August 2009 03:49 PM #3

    In the daily news thread I posted a comment from AT&T saying “It wasn’t us”

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  • Posted: 02 August 2009 04:21 PM #4

    previously commented in the developers thread.

    As far as the rejection of the Google voice app goes I can only think of what Tommo might say.  Are you F?ing kidding me?  You come into my house and want to take food off my table and you?re saying that with a straight face?  You can just get the H out and don?t come back.

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  • Posted: 02 August 2009 04:34 PM #5

    It’s a little grey for me. Seems that with Google Voice apps you can divert cell calls to be answered by google voice. The caller can even record a message and the reply can be made over the net , not thru the cell carrier. Not a big deal until the call is international and fees are lost. And the users are viewing ads on a competing network. Great intrigue for the lobbyists in DC, billable hours and all.

         
  • Posted: 02 August 2009 09:07 PM #6

    I appreciate all of the 1st Amendment vitriol, but as long as the FCC has jurisdiction over public airwaves, they will investigate as they see fit. There is a big issue brewing in Washington over exclusive carrier arrangements, access to communications technologies in rural areas and public access through major carriers to use different services.

    Rightly or wrongly, the FCC has the prerogative to investigate. Whether or not this investigation is wrong-minded is of little consequence. The iPhone uses airwaves regulated by the FCC.

         
  • Posted: 02 August 2009 11:29 PM #7

    This was one of the topics of the day on TWIT.  Would someone please explain to me why Apple should be expected to allow apps that can be used to reduce the revenue of it’s partner.  ATT writes a subsidy check for every iPhone activated on it’s network with the expectation that it will yield an estimated revenue stream. I really don’t get that there is even a question.  I really don’t.

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  • Posted: 02 August 2009 11:52 PM #8

    My take (for what it’s worth):

    The exclusive arrangement between Apple and AT&T is particularly unpopular on Capitol Hill. This is one way of bringing political pressure on the two parties not to extend the arrangement. There’s a real nuisance value by asking prying questions about contracts and terms.

    One of the reasons it’s so unpopular is due to the fact in rural areas not served by AT&T and other major carriers with cell phone service people can not purchase phones locked into exclusive arrangements with those major carriers. Verizon is changing its policy concerning allowing access to rural carriers handsets it has on exclusive contracts.

    Denying use of 3rd party discount call technologies such as VoIP or even Google’s technology to allow call to ring on different devices using one number is also seen as politically relevant. 

    Like it or not, the FCC has jurisdiction in these areas.

         
  • Posted: 03 August 2009 12:38 AM #9

    I get the FCC thing.  I don’t like it but I understand it.  The tech world’s inability to clearly resolve the revenue part of the equation saddens me much the same way that that any expectation of a free ride does.

    I know that Steve and Steve began as pirates but this ain’t neverland.

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  • Posted: 03 August 2009 01:40 AM #10

    Look at it another way: Lots of people want an iPhone but won’t or can’t switch to AT&T. To get an iPhone they complain to Washington. People in Washington like these kinds of issues because they can showcase responsiveness to the public’s complaints.

    The exclusive handset arrangements are very unpopular and Washington would like these arrangements to stop.

    Further, people like using services that can discount calls, especially calls overseas. Google (and others) wish to exploit the public’s demands for those services. Apple says “wait a minute,” we’re obsessed with the end-user experience and this kind of product (at least for now) blows our conventions out of the water. We don’t want it.

    Washington says, “Too, bad, people want it. We don’t understand your success and thus we resent that success and to show our displeasure you will do things our way. If you don’t like what we say we will find a way to regulate your success and that will be much more unpleasant for you so we suggest you do as we say.”

    The proverbial ball is back in Apple’s side of the court.

         
  • Posted: 03 August 2009 02:23 AM #11

    DawnTreader - 03 August 2009 04:40 AM

    The exclusive handset arrangements are very unpopular and Washington would like these arrangements to stop.

    Would love to see the evidence of this unpopularity.  I see that the press is presenting it as unpopular, but I have not seen any evidence that this is popular or unpopular amongst Representatives or Senators in Washington.

    Have you seen some poll or straw vote on the matter?  Where do you get your information that claims it is unpopular?

         
  • Posted: 03 August 2009 02:39 AM #12

    DawnTreader - 03 August 2009 04:40 AM

    Look at it another way: Lots of people want an iPhone but won’t or can’t switch to AT&T. To get an iPhone they complain to Washington. People in Washington like these kinds of issues because they can showcase responsiveness to the public’s complaints.

    The exclusive handset arrangements are very unpopular and Washington would like these arrangements to stop.

    Further, people like using services that can discount calls, especially calls overseas. Google (and others) wish to exploit the public’s demands for those services. Apple says “wait a minute,” we’re obsessed with the end-user experience and this kind of product (at least for now) blows our conventions out of the water. We don’t want it.

    Washington says, “Too, bad, people want it. We don’t understand your success and thus we resent that success and to show our displeasure you will do things our way. If you don’t like what we say we will find a way to regulate your success and that will be much more unpleasant for you so we suggest you do as we say.”

    The proverbial ball is back in Apple’s side of the court.

    Okay thanks.  That helps.  It’s probably me that lives in Neverland.

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  • Posted: 03 August 2009 03:57 AM #13

    I’ll put a positive spin on it.  grin

    There are lots and lots of people who want an iPhone and either can’t have one (exclusivity and rural issues, for example) or refuse to change service providers to get one. Their voices are growing louder by the day. This is a good thing for Apple. There are also a few carriers who are losing thousands of customer a day to competitors due to the success of the iPhone. This is not a good thing for them and they want AT&T’s joy ride to come to an end.

    Due to the popularity of the iPhone, there are many people who say, “Sure, I like my iPhone but I also want it my way.” Carrier choice, VoIP option for international calls, cool Google stuff Apple isn’t quite ready to embrace. This may be a good thing for Apple, too.

    The FCC regulates airwaves. The focus at this time is more on AT&T than Apple and the agency will squeeze Apple for any hint of unfair practices by AT&T. Further, to be sure Apple isn’t being anti-competitive in some of its own access decisions, the agency wants info on Apple’s app store decisions on apps that provide alternative airwave access.

    This could all blow over quickly depending on how Apple responds and the way the company chooses to deal with apps that are outside the company’s original desires for end-user access to airwaves outside AT&T’s control.

    This is the price of popularity and incredible success for the iPhone. It could be worse. It’s a back-handed acknowledgment of the iPhone’s popularity and consumer demand for the device.

         
  • Posted: 03 August 2009 07:37 AM #14

    Why the excitement over this?

    What Apple has delivered to the user with iPhone came at the price of a deal with the devil: users must get an affordable, unlimited, neutral mobile data pipe; Apple must get big subsidies, the carrier’s business grows in a saturated market, but Apple must protect Apple’s carrier partner’s existing revenue sources (voice and SMS). So yes, this is to protect AT&T’s revenues, whatever anyone says. It is also to protect Apple’s stated requirement to control the user experience of the core functionality of the device. Voice (including visual voicemail) and SMS are core functions. Apple won’t have email apps on the store either, but the mail app providers aren’t remotely rich enough to lobby Washington.

    In the long term voice will be subsumed into the internet, and SMS will presumably disappear. Apple is the one that finally moved us forward in this process by releasing the carriers’ myopic restraint on mobile data. The matching deal with the devil to protect voice revenues isn’t done yet, and it’s making Apple rich. That’s because Apple had the wits to see how it could be the triggering agent of inevitable change and could ride the resulting turmoil of change in a huge industry.

    There are two outcomes; the FCC accepts the situation, and Apple continues to make enhanced margins and control the user experience for voicemail, SMS etc, or the FCC rules that the App store must allow Google’s voice App. In that case the gloves are off, and Apple too can move in on the carriers’ voice revenues.

    On balance I see this as an almost deliberate sounding-out by Apple and Google in their long term quest for an open mobile internet with dumb pipe mobile data service provision. What makes people think Apple are ignorant, greedy, stupid and short sighted, just because this is their necessary tactical action at this stage in this multi-year contest? There are parts of the game Apple doesn’t control, and the FCC move is helping to define those parts, which in turn will allow Apple to move forward more confidently in a known environment.

         
  • Posted: 03 August 2009 08:35 AM #15

    sleepytoo - 03 August 2009 10:37 AM

    There are two outcomes; the FCC accepts the situation, and Apple continues to make enhanced margins and control the user experience for voicemail, SMS etc, or the FCC rules that the App store must allow Google’s voice App. In that case the gloves are off, and Apple too can move in on the carriers’ voice revenues.

    Exactly. The carriers are at risk not Apple and Google. What we learn after following Apple for so long is that they do not care for the ‘‘act then react’’ thrust and parry that so many of today’s business observers dwell on. Apple looks at the end game likely outcome. They position themselves early in the most advantageous space. What happens today does not matter because Apple is working on tomorrow.