After reports emerged that Apple Inc. had denied Google Voice and other related apps from third-party developers for the iPhone App Store, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in a prompt move has written to Apple asking for the reasons behind the move.
The letter from FCC has asked Apple to provide its reasons, and to elucidate which apps were deleted from its iTunes App Store. It has further asked whether any differences existed between Google Voice app for iPhone and other VoIP services which have been approved, and for the company to provide its criteria for approving iPhone apps.
Along with this, the FCC also launched a probe into if AT&T Inc. played any role into nixing Google Voice and other related apps from the iPhone App Store, and if the iPhone maker worked in conjunction with AT&T in taking the contentious decision.
In its response to the FCC’s investigation, the network operator said: “AT&T does not manage or approve applications for the App Store. We have received the letter and will, of course, respond to it”.
However, any reaction from Apple is not likely to throw any light on its apps approval procedure, which has been a constant cause of irritation and perplexity for the third-party developers, as the iPhone maker is able to plea confidentiality on certain critical information.
Don't expect much to come to light after the investigation given the fact that Apple's approval process for Apps is still a nothing more than a blackbox for many developers. The fact that Apple curtails competition on a platform that could become as popular as Windows is very, very worrisome indeed.