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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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RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By Motoman on 8/4/2009 3:42:02 PM , Rating: -1
You are quite confused.

Being a publicly-listed company is not equatable to being a public service, which is what you seem to think it is. It does mean that you become accountable to your shareholders, and you are therefore required to run the business in a manner that best benefits those shareholders...which is categorically not the same thing as running the business in a manner that best benefits consumers. In fact, they are frequently polar opposites.

Giving your product away for free would be in the best interest of the consumers. It would be the worst option for shareholders. In fact, the shareholders would sue the company and get the entire board of directors replaced along with probably nearly all the executives.

What you bought was an iPhone. It's yours, and you can do whatever you want with it...granted that what you're doing isn't illegal of course. You also then subscribed to a tightly-defined service from AT&T to get certain functionality on your iPhone - including voice and data plans, internet access, whatever. Subscribing to a service is fundamentally different than buying a product...indeed, you have no tangible thing at all, just a contract with the service provider that says they have to give you the service you contracted with them for, and that you on your part have to abide by the terms and conditions of that contract.

When you get satellite TV, say from DirecTV, you subscribe to a service. You get whatever channels are offered in whichever package you choose, and you agree to the terms & conditions set forth in that contract. There's probably a clause in there that provides them the right to change the channel line-up on you mid-term through your contract, either with or without warning or consent from you.

In fact, I just copied this from DirecTV's website from their Ts & Cs:
quote:
Accordingly, we must reserve the unrestricted right to change, rearrange, add or delete our programming packages, the selections in those packages, our prices, and any other Service we offer, at any time.


Because this is stated up front, and because you as the consumer had the opportunity to read it and make an informed decision before subscribing to the service, it is perfectly legal for DirecTV to change your programming as they see fit.

It is precisely the same for Apple and the App Store. They have a similar clause.

There is one way, and one way only, for either Apple or DirecTV (in these examples - you'll find a similar clause in virtually any service you ever subscribe to) to be breaking any laws when they change anything that you've subscribed to: in the case where they either explicitly guaranteed that something would be provided and then they pulled it, or where they didn't state in clear terms that they could change stuff as they saw fit before you signed the contract.

Neither of these is the case. Neither the App Store nor DirecTV are open markets, and neither are subject to the needs/desires of consumers. Your recourse as a consumer, as always, is simply to not subscribe to a service if you don't like the Ts & Cs.

I understand that the facts I have just described are *not* the way people want them to be. They are unpopular, and undesireable from a consumer's standpoint. They are, however, there, and they are perfectly legal, and they don't create any kind of an abuse on the market or the consumer. You can feel free to not like them, to be upset about it, to scream or cry or whatever else you want to do because of them...but you don't get to change them, and you have no basis to demand that they be change post-hoc.

Vote with your dollars as a consumer. Once you've made a purchase, you have informed the vendor that you are happy with the Ts & Cs you have been provided with. And then the game is over.


RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By dark matter on 8/4/2009 4:28:15 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
You are quite confused. Being a publicly-listed company is not equatable to being a public service, which is what you seem to think it is.


Stop right there.

Go back and read the first line of my post. It is quite clear. Not once did I say Apple was a publically listed company. Not once did mention public-service. In fact I never once uttered the word "public" in my paragraph.

I think, Motoman, the only one confused here is you. Your post is a pin up poster boy for what is known as a straw man argument.

quote:
A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[1] To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.[1] [2]


For further reading on what is a straw man, I suggest you read the following...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

If you wish to discuss my points, fine. I am all up for a reasoned and logical debate but don't try and refute things I never said and claim I am the one who is confused.


RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By Motoman on 8/4/09, Rating: -1
RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By dark matter on 8/4/2009 4:40:19 PM , Rating: 5
Bravo.

Finally!! I managed to get you to tie yourself in such a knot that you ended up contradicting yourself. It was inevitable. You may know all the grammar, you may know all the spelling, but ultimately you're just thick as a plank.

Can you spot what you have just done?

I tell you what, I will let you guess. Have a good read of this post, let it all soak in and then read some of your other posts. Let's see if you spot your error.


RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By Motoman on 8/4/09, Rating: -1
RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By dark matter on 8/4/2009 4:52:58 PM , Rating: 5
Ouch, this is going to hurt. You sure you're ready for this? I would have rather have emailed it you, but hey, here we go...

(Remember, these are your words...)

Motoman said:
quote:
Oh, and I thought I should just make one more clarification on the public vs. private concept as it relates to companies. An organization is only "public" in one case - when it is a governmental agency, such as the EPA, the DOT, a public library, the unemployment office, the military, etc. Any organization that is not a governmental agency is "private" - which is virtually every corporation that exists.


Then Motoman said:
quote:
There is one , and only one , way to be a "listed" company. And that is to be a publicly-listed company. There is no other form of "listing." Go ahead and look for another form of listing that isn't public . I'll wait.


and you also said

quote:
...in case you think you still have some scrap of a point you're trying to hang on to...please educate me as to what kind of "listing" it is that you were referring to that is not a public listing. Please. I would love to see it, and just think how much better we'd all be by learning from your wisdom.


:)


RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By Motoman on 8/4/09, Rating: -1
RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By Motoman on 8/4/09, Rating: 0
RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By dark matter on 8/4/2009 5:08:19 PM , Rating: 1
My god are you always this anal about things? You're still banging on that I got confused that Apple wasn't a public-sector company! I never said it was you numbskull, YOU claimed that's what I said on your very first post, and ever since this has been your argument against me.

Look, i'm free friday, do you want to come and have a beer with me or something, you seem kind of lonely. No tongues on the first date though, ok! :)


RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By Motoman on 8/4/2009 5:11:51 PM , Rating: 1
You didn't even know the term "public-sector" until I told you about it, so of course you didn't use the term. But you were, and are, clearly confused about what the difference is between public and private sector companies, and what it means to be privately-held or publicly-held.

And no, I don't think I'll be having beer with you...it's not legal for 12-year-olds to drink.


RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By dark matter on 8/4/2009 5:15:46 PM , Rating: 1
You're only 12? Sorry, I didn't know. I'll just take you to the park then.


RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By Motoman on 8/4/09, Rating: 0
RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By Danger D on 8/4/2009 5:57:37 PM , Rating: 3
Your momma's so fat ... wait ... what are we talking about?


RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By Motoman on 8/4/09, Rating: 0
RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By Motoman on 8/4/2009 4:43:33 PM , Rating: 1
...in case you think you still have some scrap of a point you're trying to hang on to...please educate me as to what kind of "listing" it is that you were referring to that is not a public listing. Please. I would love to see it, and just think how much better we'd all be by learning from your wisdom.


RE: Why is the FCC involved?
By blove on 8/5/2009 3:31:10 AM , Rating: 2
Your post is the best definition and example of a straw-man argument I have ever seen!


"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton














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