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AT&T has no qualms about blaming partner Apple for app rejections

Under investigation by the Federal Communications Commission, AT&T has passed the blame for the Google Voice application rejection on to partner Apple.  According to AT&T's spokesperson, "AT&T does not manage or approve applications for the App Store. We have received the letter and will, of course, respond to it."

The FCC has demanded that Apple and AT&T explain the process by which applications are rejected.  In particular its asking what contractual conditions or non-contractual understandings with AT&T influence app store rejections. 

The government also asked, "Does AT&T have any role in the approval of iPhone applications generally (or in certain cases)? If so, under what circumstances, and what role does it play? What roles are specified in the contractual provisions between Apple and AT&T (or any non-contractual understandings) regarding the consideration of particular iPhone applications?"

The insinuation by AT&T, though, that it plays no part in app store policing and that regulation is solely the work of Apple is flat out false, though.  AT&T previously ordered Apple to force Slingbox to operate over WiFi only.  AT&T had stated:
Slingbox, which would use large amounts of wireless network capacity, could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network. The application does not run on our 3G wireless network. Applications like this, which redirect a TV signal to a personal computer, are specifically prohibited under our terms of service. We consider smartphones like the iPhone to be personal computers in that they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs.
Steve Jobs also noted during a Q&A session that AT&T is actively policing voice-over-IP apps.  He stated that AT&T is the reason why apps like Skype are WiFi only.  In the end it appears that despite its claims of innocence, AT&T may play more of a role in iPhone app policing than it admits.

The finger pointing by AT&T does illustrate increasing tension between the two companies.  Apple took a number of apparent snipes at AT&T during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote address, where it introduced the new iPhone 3G S.

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ATT uncompetative
By modoc on 8/4/2009 11:45:00 AM , Rating: 2
If you buy a sony ericsson phone that has WIFI (c905a) in the rest of the world, ATT specifically disables the ability to configure WIFI. Since I own the phone, and NOT ATT I find the inability to configure a feature that everyone else in the world has to be purely anticompetitive. That is, they want me to use their high-speed services and not the one I already have. How come the FCC ignore this type of behavior yet tag APPLE and GOOGLE for their anti-competitive behavior.

RE: ATT uncompetative
By Fallen Kell on 8/4/2009 12:06:10 PM , Rating: 5
How come the FCC ignore this type of behavior yet tag APPLE and GOOGLE for their anti-competitive behavior.

Because you didn't spend millions of dollars to the politicians in the last few years and can't cash in on that investment by calling up a few Senators and Representatives who immediately call up the FCC to start looking into something, like what Google did to Apple when Apple rejected there application...

RE: ATT uncompetative
By tayhimself on 8/4/2009 2:05:54 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely brilliant f***ing post. Nothing more worth saying.

RE: ATT uncompetative
By hyvonen on 8/4/2009 3:10:51 PM , Rating: 3
You may have a crippled phone, but you got it at a heavy discount. AT&T paid nearly half of your phone for you, in exchange for having you pay for the dataplan.

If you want your wifi, be ready to pay the unsubsidized price the rest of the world has to pay.

RE: ATT uncompetative
By gstrickler on 8/4/2009 4:50:48 PM , Rating: 2
If you want your wifi, be ready to pay the unsubsidized price the rest of the world has to pay.
Your argument would be valid if I could get a rate plan that didn't already have $10+/mo built-in to it to cover the cost of subsidizing the phone. Whether I buy a subsidized phone or a non-subsidized phone, I pay the same monthly fee, even though in 95%-99% of the cases, the subsidized and non-subsidized phones have the same features.

For 2.5 years I've been using a non-subsidized Nokia N73 because the carrier (AT&T) doesn't offer that phone. They wouldn't give me any type of discount on my monthly service nor any type of subsidy or credit for having purchased a non-subsidized phone. It's annoying, but it's the phone I wanted so I chose to pay the extra.

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