Was Apple a "Liar Liar" to the FCC about the Google Voice app?

Was Apple a "Liar Liar" to the FCC about the Google Voice app?

Summary: If this were a schoolyard, Apple would be that kid that everyone is pointing to and chanting "Liar, liar, pants on fire."Word is spreading fast that Apple did, in fact, reject the Google Voice app for its iPhone earlier this year, even though the company said in a statement filed with the FCC in July that, contrary to media reports, it had not yet officially rejected the app.

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If this were a schoolyard, Apple would be that kid that everyone is pointing to and chanting "Liar, liar, pants on fire."

Word is spreading fast that Apple did, in fact, reject the Google Voice app for its iPhone earlier this year, even though the company said in a statement filed with the FCC in July that, contrary to media reports, it had not yet officially rejected the app.

Now, we're learning that that wasn't necessarily true.

When the FCC launched its investigation, the agency requested statements from all of the parties involved - Apple, Google and AT&T. It was widely speculated that AT&T had a role in calling for the rejection of the Google Voice app but the company said in its statement that it was not involved. When the statements were released publicly, Google's was largely redacted.

Also see: The Google Voice app scandal: is Apple losing control over the iPhone?

Today, a statement in Google's letter was made public - at Google's request. In it, Google said that Apple's VP of Marketing, Phil Schiller, informed Google that the app had been rejected. In the letter (PDF), Google wrote:

Apple's representatives informed Google that the Google Voice application was rejected because Apple believed the application duplicated the core dialer functionality of the iPhone. The Apple representative indicated that the company did not want applications that could potentially replace such functionality.

Google said it agreed to make the letter public after many news organizations filed Freedom of Information Act requests for it. In a blog post today, Google said:

While we could have asked the FCC to oppose those requests, in light of Apple's decision to make its own letter fully public and in the interest of transparency, we decided to drop our request for confidentiality.

Apple hasn't issued a response yet so, for all we know, there's a reasonable explanation for the contradiction. Still, getting caught in a lie is never a good thing. It'll be interesting to see how Apple digs itself out of this one.

Also see: Forget the iPhone app, Google Voice coming as a Web app

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Google, Government, Government US, Mobility, Smartphones

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33 comments
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  • Yes, there must be an explanation other than "Apple lied... again"

    [i]Apple hasn't issued a response yet so, for
    all we know, there's a reasonable explanation
    for the contradiction.[/i]

    Yes, I'm sure there is. After all, we can't
    have Apple being shown for the lying, stealing,
    evil company that it is.

    [i]Still, getting caught in a lie is never a
    good thing. It'll be interesting to see how
    Apple digs itself out of this one.[/i]

    Nope, Apple won't even try to dig itself out of
    this one. What [b]will[/b] happen is that
    thousands of bloggers like you and millions of
    talkbackers will apologize for Apple lying...
    again.
    NonZealot
    • No Lie That I See

      Here's the explanation: the attorneys used one term and Phil Schiller used another. The attorneys were talking to the government and Schiller was talking to a developer.

      I would put my money on the proposition that the attorneys used a nuanced term that could be supported by appropriate laws, regulations, and agreements governing Apple and the iPhone developers.

      Given that most people have chided Apple for splitting hairs regarding the difference between rejection and non-approval, the only "lie" would be if Apple were not the authors of their handling of the app.

      Or maybe I misunderstand. Maybe you are arguing "You liars, you did not 'not approve,' you 'rejected'" would get any thing other than looks of ridicule if uttered so succinctly.

      Here are the $64,000 questions: may Google resubmit the app after making changes to the parts Apple objected to, would those changes essentially eviscerate the functionality to the degree that it wasn't really the app Google intended, does Apple hold a monopoly, a first step in a restraint of trade case, in something other than Apple products.

      You may have your answers. You don't count. I don't count. The only ones who count would be a jury if Google sued Apple and the claims had the legal merits to make it to trial.

      DannyO_0x98
      • As with Anti-trust, "restraint of trade"

        does NOT require a monopoly, as the Apple apologists seem to parrot incessantly.

        A restraint of trade is simply some kind of agreed provision that is designed to restrain another's trade.
        rtk
        • A pretty hard case to prove

          considering Google has their own smart phone operating system and
          application marketplace.
          frgough
          • Agreed

            just annoys me that people think any company is "safe" as long as they don't have a monopoly.

            rtk
    • Yup, the Apple department of...

      ...apologetics strikes again.

      Because you can be damn sure that if Google have published this they can prove it.

      And what will any your brethren do then, Sam? Say that Schiller "was pressurised" or "taken out of context"?

      When are you guys going to wake up and smell the coffee?
      Sleeper Service
  • Awaits the impending destruction of Google by "The Followers..." <nt>

    ...
    Scrat
  • RE: Was Apple a

    Liar or not, its probably a good thing Apple rejected that app. I wouldn't want any of Google's products on my PCs or ipod. Apple probably feels the same way as do millions of others.
    Loverock Davidson
    • right...

      So now you are milking 2 cows: M$ and Apple.
      Google rules when it comes to software!
      M$ & Apple would not hold a candle if it was not for their monopolies!
      Linux Geek
      • *YAWN*

        zzzz...zzzz...zzzz....zzzz
        GuidingLight
        • You took the yawn right outta my mouth...

          .
          mgp3
  • What is the potential punishment...

    for lying to a government agency?
    planruse
    • Depends on how many of them you have in your pocket

      and how fast you can kill the story.

      lol
      Been_Done_Before
  • The RDF to the rescue!

    Not sure HOW they will spin it but the spinmeisters at Apple will come up with something and the faithful WILL believe - no scared cows of the church of Steve will be harmed on these pages, that much is for certain.

    Maybe Apple has technically never rejected the app but instead put it into some sort of suspended state of pending approval - yea, that's sounds real good, yea, right!
    eggmanbubbagee@...
    • Was that a Fruedian slip?

      [i]no [b]scared[/b] cows of the church of Steve will be harmed[/i]

      Or was that meant to be [i]sacred[/i]

      Either one will work accuratelly in that sentence. :)
      GuidingLight
  • Apple lie? I'm shocked! (nt)

    :D
    IT_Guy_z
  • So, why the assumption that Apple is lying and not Google?

    Oh, wait; I forgot: we're dealing with prejudices.
    frgough
    • How about reading the linked PDF, hmmm?

      We realize you must protect Apple and apologize for them any time anything looks like it might hurt their precious little image. But fortunately not everyone has their head dunked deep into the Apple Kool-Aid Well, so the rest of the world can be made aware of how underhanded, deceptive and self-serving they really are.
      Qbt
      • Must be something they coat the surfaces with.

        The more they are handled, the more one 'believes'.
        Patanjali
      • Right, because we all know

        that writing your accusations down on paper makes them true.
        frgough