Google Voice, Apple, and the FCC – One More Reason I Won’t Own an iPhone

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Last year I provided a list of reasons why I won’t buy an iPhone.  Since that time I’ve had a chance to play with one and I must admit, it is a pretty cool little toy.

The keyboard is a lot more usable than I thought it would be. It has the ability to accept push mail from Exchange server.  The browser is probably the most usable hand-held browser on the market.  And the screen resolution is awesome.  In fact, when I first saw one up close, I was tempted to make it my new phone.

But even with that, there are a few apps missing.  And even if I heard that there was an application being developed tomorrow that would fill the missing gap in applications, I STILL would not buy an iPhone because of this one critical reason that I missed in my first list.

Yes, I’m talking about the fact that Apple gets to decide what I can run on my phone or not.  You can only run applications that have been approved for the app store.  I’ve read stories of developers who asked in advance if their application might be approved, only to find out later that it wasn’t.

The latest series of applications to be disapproved are the applications related to Google Voice.  Not only have they been disapproved, but previously approved applications related to Google Voice have been removed.

Now the FCC is getting involved.

Imagine if they did this with their desktop and laptop computers as well? Oh wait, maybe this is the test  bed for that!  And don’t think they couldn’t do this.  Embed an “approved list” in the OS that will only let you run applications Apple has approved.  This is not only possible, but I would expect it as soon as viruses get to be a big enough problem on the Mac (and please don’t leave a comment about how Macs can’t get viruses, it will only get deleted.  It’s just not true.)

True, if you are technically inclined, you can get around the app store issue, and you can get around the Mac store issue if they decide to implement that.  But the issue at stake here is, do you really want someone else making those decisions for you?

Would you stand for this in any other economy?

I had a manager once who told me that you can compare anything to a car.  So let’s do just that.

Suppose you bought a car from Apple Auto.  Apple Auto makes what is probably the best car on the planet.  It gets well over 80MPG and never needs a tune-up.  Of course, you’ll need to buy your gas and oil from Apple, but the good news is the gas will be cheaper than what you are putting in your current car.  True, it cost $40,000, but it looks really cool.  The only real problem with the Apple Car is that you can only purchase accessories for your car from the Apple Car Store.  Yep, that’s right.  You want a pair of fuzzy dice? Want a seat cover?  Need a new floor mat?  Want a GPS?  While all your friends can get those at any automotive store, you can only get yours at the Apple Car store.  And of course, any replacement parts you need will only be available from Apple.  Need new tires? They will cost you twice as much as the tires you are currently using.  Need new light bulbs? Same deal.

You get the idea.

I don’t know, maybe you think this is OK.  I don’t.  I’m a grown-up.  I want to be treated as a grown-up.  If you want to be treated as a child–if you like the big A treating you like a child, then go ahead and buy your iPhone and let Apple play God and “protect” you from the big bad nasties while they take a fraction of every sale they make through the app store and make sure that nothing that could possibly compete with them or their partners gets approved.

Personally, I like my freedom.  While I hope the FCC  slaps the big A around a bit and stops this craziness, the arrogance of Apple exceeds anything I’ve seen from microsoft.  It is the arrogance of Apple that will keep me away from Apple products.  So I’ll keep my Windows Mobile that does everything I need and allows me to put whatever I want to on it.

Other places talking about Apple, Google, and the FCC

TG Daily – FCC to probe Apple over Google Voice – The FCC sent letters to the companies asking them why they rejected the Google Voince application. Earlier last week Apple said it wouldn’t distribute Google software – the reason appears to be that it doesn’t want any competition on …

Apple’ Google Voice Refusal Leads To FCC Probe – The US FCC has started probing into the aspects of Apple’s refusal to allow Google Voice to be used on its iPhone.

The Jeff Pulver Blog: The FCC Questions Apple, AT&T and Google: – Fast forward a few days later and I was excited to learn that the FCC got involved by reaching out to: Apple, AT&T and Google with a number of questions on of their own. I believe their respective answers will be quite revealing and …

Always On Real-Time Access » FCC probes Apple’s rejection of … – A Google representative acknowledged that Apple had rejected its Voice application for the iPhone and said Google would respond to the FCC’s inquiry, but didn’t comment on concerns raised by the agency. An Apple representative declined …

The Modern Bandit: FCC Investigates AT&T-Apple-Google Love Triangle – Law blog tracking developments in white collar crime and cyber terrorism.

FCC Launches Investigation Of Apple’s Rejection Of Google Voice App – Finally, regulators are taking note of how US carriers are choking off mobile innovation.

FCC Takes On Apple And AT&T Over Google Voice Rejection – My, how the tables have turned. Earlier this week, we learned that Apple had suddenly begun to pull third party iPhone applications for …

FCC Lays The Smackdown On Apple Over Google Voice Rejection – The FCC heard about Apple’s rejection of Google Voice, and they didn’t like what they heard… vbjinq9fdy.

FCC investigating Apple’s rejection of Google Voice Apps – FCC has begun an investigation into the matter that involves Apple’s rejection of the Google Voice iPhone app. In its letters to AT&T, Apple, and Google, the Commission asked each party to clarify exactly what happened and why.

FCC Launches Investigation Into Apple Ban Of Google Voice App – The FCC sent out letters to Apple, AT&T, and Google, and, to make a long story short, they asked Apple why they did what hey did and if AT&T had anything to do with it. They asked AT&T pretty much the same thing as they asked Apple and …

TechSheep » Blog Archive » The FCC Questions Apple, AT&T and … – The FCC Questions Apple, AT&T and Google: — Last Tuesday (July 28th) when I was interviewed for the NY Times story, “Even Google Is Blocked With Apps for iPhone”, one of the questions I was asked was who I thought was the reason behind …

FCC Questions Apple and AT&T on Google Voice Rejection : Mobile … – FCC Questions Apple and AT&T on Google Voice Rejection. Permalink: FCC Questions Apple and AT&T on Google Voice Rejection by Franz Bicar. A few weeks ago, the net was abuzz with the rejection of Google Voice from the iPhone App Store. …

Latest VoIP, Voice 2.0, IMS 2.0 news: Google Voice, FCC questions … – The suspense surrounding the Google Voice App rejection by Apple is not yet over. It’s getting more and more interesting. Apparently, FCC has stepped in and has sent letters to AT&T, Apple and Google in this regard. …

The FCC is asking Apple and AT&T all the right questions – Apple … – But companies do have to answer to the FCC if they want to provide telephone service in the United States. And on Friday, letters sent to Apple, AT&T and Google asked all the right questions. (You can read them yourself below the fold. …

iPhone Savior: FCC Squeezes Apple Over Google Voice Rejection – Hundreds of iPhone developers are sitting on the sidelines quietly cheering the FFC’s decision to start asking both Apple and AT&T some very tough questions relating to the company’s rejection this past week of the wildly anticipated …

FCC Opens Inquiry Regarding Google Voice App Rejection – According to the Wall Street Journal, the FCC is opening an inquiry into the Google Voice app rejection debacle. In …

AppleUsers.org News » FCC Queries Apple, AT&T, and Google about … – On 31-Jul-09, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sent letters of inquiry to Apple, AT&T, and Google asking about the circumstances that led to Apple rejecting a Google Voice app and removing previously approved third-party …

Gamasutra: Steve Augustino’s Blog – The Meaning of the FCC’s … – Reacting to reports earlier this week that Apple refused to approve the Google Voice app for the iPhone, the FCC quickly shot off letters to Apple, Google and AT&T. For convenience, I uploaded the letters here: Apple. Google …

FCC’s Speed Shockingly Fast Looking Into iPhone-Google Voice … – "Big news in the FCC inquiry into Apple, AT&T, Google Voice is how in the loop the FCC is now," writer and entrepreneur Steven Berlin Johnson tweets. "That story was barely off Techmeme."

FCC Launches Inquiry Into Google Voice iPhone App Rejection … – DowJones is reporting that the FCC is looking into the reason for the Google Voice application being rejected for the iPhone. They’ve sent letters to Google, Apple and AT&T seeking answers as to why the VOIP (voice over the internet …

Apple-Overload! » FCC wants to talk to Apple about Google Voice app – Section: Apple , iPod + iTunes , iTunes , iPhone , Carriers , iPhone , iPhone SDK & Apps As everyone and their grandmother knows, Apple recently took down an application from Google that interfaced with their newer Google Voice service. …

Hallelujah! FCC Investigating Apple For Google Voice App Rejection … – YES. The FCC is looking into Apple’s chickenshit shenanigans with Google Voice, asking whether AT&T was involved, why it was rejected and what’s going on with this Google Voice thing. Updated with correspondence among FCC, Apple, …

FCC looking into Apple’s rejection of Google iPhone app – In an exclusive article in The Wall Street Journal, the paper reported, "The FCC’s letter to Google asks for a description of the Google Voice application and whether Apple has approved any other Google applications for its store." …

FCC investigating Google Voice rejection by Apple and AT&T – Windows, Apple & Linux Technology news with Gamer and Software updates across the aforementioned platforms.

FCC queries AT&T, Apple on Google Voice iPhone app rejection – Tags: app, app store, apple, AppStore, at and t, AtAndT, att, breaking, breaking news, BreakingNews, fcc, federal communications commission, FederalCommunicationsCommission, google, google voice, GoogleVoice, government, itunes, …

FCC Investigating Apple’s Rejection of Google Voice iPhone … – The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription required) that the US Federal Communications Commission has opened an inquiry into Apple’s rejection of an official Google Voice application for the iPh.

 

And that’s just a VERY small list.

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