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Apple and Google tell the FCC different stories about Google Voice

September 18, 2009 |  3:53 pm

Google

Google's logo at its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Credit: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images.
Google Inc. and Apple Inc. can’t seem to agree on why the new Google Voice application for the iPhone doesn’t appear in Apple's App Store.

The Federal Communications Commission posted a previously confidential letter today by Google that said the Google Voice app was rejected.

"Apple's representatives informed Google that the Google Voice application was rejected because Apple believed the application duplicated the core dialer functionality of the iPhone,” the letter said.

In the letter, Google says that Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, told Google's senior vice president, Alan Eustace, that Apple declined the application during a July 7 phone conversation.

But Apple maintains that it never rejected Google Voice for the iPhone and that the two Silicon Valley companies are still in talks about the service. Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris said Apple was studying Google Voice and, as of today, it hasn’t been approved for the App Store.

“We do not agree with all of the statements made by Google in their FCC letter,” Kerris said in a statement. “Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application and we continue to discuss it with Google.”

Google Voice centralizes people’s mobile and land-line numbers and their messaging to one number. Some industry observers have said that the service could potentially compete with AT&T Inc., the iPhone’s exclusive U.S. carrier.

Apple answered FCC questions about Google Voice in a filing last month. In it, Apple maintained that it was still looking at the application, but said that the service "appears to alter the iPhone's distinctive user experience by replacing the iPhone's core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface."

-- W.J. Hennigan

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