So, did Apple lie when it said it has not rejected the app but it continues to "study" it? That's the question many folks will be asking and this storm spontaneously spawned out of nowhere.
Today, the whole letter Google submitted to the FCC for the inquiry into phone deals was on display for all to see after certain individuals made it happen through the Freedom of Information Act. If you recall, portions of Google's letter were redacted and now we know why. Google essentially said Apple rejected the Google Voice app when Apple had said it was still considering it and working with Google to make it happen. Apple's reason for the "rejection", depending on who you believe, is that GV duplicated existing functions on the iPhone.
Perhaps in your mind and my mind, Apple isn't being upfront about this but who really knows how Apple perceives this situation. Apple has never been accused of being conventional. The fact that Apple sent it back and told Google the GV app duplicates an existing function on the iPhone is loud and clear. The app got rejected.
I don't see how Apple will study it and find a way for it to work. And even if Apple does come up with a compromise, it doesn't mean Google will go along with it.
The surprising element to me here is Google's Latitude app rejected. In the coming months, we'll see how this all plays out. There will be two stages to watch carefully.
One is the FCC and the court of public opinion. The FCC is looking in net neutrality and phone deals. National politics will in some ways play into this. The Republican members of the FCC has already come out public in support of exclusive phone deals. So, we'll see how they feel about Apple's app store policies. Given the political climate these days in the Beltway, I think I already know where this is headed.
The other stage to watch is the relationship between Apple and Google. Will there be anymore apps coming from Google? Android has been gaining a lot of steam of late. It recently accounted for over 10K apps and has three devices in the market with about five more available this fall. More in 2010. Plus, Android already has a tablet in the form of the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. Can Google afford to stand up to Apple at this stage in the game? There are 50 million iPhones and iPod Touches in the wild. That's a huge market. We are looking at a market with 70-90 million Apple mobile users by the end of 2009. We'll find out who needs who more.
there is one additional twist in all this. Later in the day, Apple fired back with a short statement saying that they didn't not reject the app and continue to work with Google on the matter. Burrrr...anyone felt the sudden reversal in global warming?
Here is more of Google's statement which doesn't add a whole lot. CNet here has more on the background of this soap opera.