The ban of Google Voice from the App Store just was the last straw. The Federal Communications Commission has (finally) sent a letter to Apple and AT&T in order to cast light upon what's going on with the iPhone and the App Store policies.
If you're interested or feel affected, as I do, you can of course read the letter directly from FCC's website. The letter's quite self-explanatory, asking questions such as:
Why did Apple reject the Google Voice application for iPhone and remove related third-party applications from its App Store?
Did Apple act alone, or in consultation with AT&T, in deciding to reject the Google Voice application and related applications?
Please explain any differences between the rejected apps and any other voice over Internet (VoIP) applications that remain in the store.
This question just goes straight to the point I'm doing since quite a time:
Please explain whether, on AT&T’s network, consumers’ access to and usage of Google Voice is disabled on the iPhone but permitted on other handsets, including Research in Motion’s BlackBerry devices.I understand that companies such as AT&T and Vodafone subsidize the cost of such a terminal, widely broadening the audience of such a technology. I wouldn't personally pay, ever, more than 500 Eur just to wear a logo on my phone, which is one of the things the iPhone does well. On the other hand, you cannot limit my freedom of choice giving me access exclusively at an "application store" where I can install all sorts of stupidware but cannot install Google Voice which, as many other Google's technologies, is given for free and it's high quality, too.
I'm an Apple customer since a very short time. Nonetheless, I feel Apple's practices as one of the most opaque on the market. I did look for informations about some why, but never found any clear because. Such as multitasking. Such as IMAP IDLE. Such as Google Voice...
I'm not making any further comments given that the situation speaks for itself. And if you've got an iPhone and you're experiencing the same limitations I am, well, there's nothing more to say.
Let's wait to see what happens after the FCC move. Meanwhile, a word to the wise. Do you want a phone? Don't be the iJail.