Google Accused Of Hypocrasy, Andy Rubin Fires Back

google-voice-logoYou’ve probably heard about the iPhone & Google Voice fiasco, but if you haven’t let us fill you in. Google has an AMAZING service called Google Voice (formerly Grand Central) which had been available via the web. Recently Google took the “beta” label off Google Voice and published mobile applications for both Android Market and the iPhone App Store that would allow users of each platform to enjoy the best possible mobile experience/integration.

Only iPhone users couldn’t enjoy anything because the Google Voice Application was rejected from the iPhone App Store. The FCC responded almost instantaneously, launching a full investigation into the actions of both AT&T and Apple in their move to block the application. The FCC asked each company to file a report outlining their involvement in the rejection, and those reports were completed and submitted today.

[Read the response from each company: Google, Apple, AT&T]

Right now it seems Apple will bare the brunt of criticism after AT&T flat out denied any involvement in the decision, effectively leaving Apple to get crushed by the FCC bus.

“Let me state unequivocally, AT&T had no role in any decision by Apple to not accept the Google Voice application for inclusion in the Apple App Store,” said Jim Cicconi, AT&T senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs.

“AT&T was not asked about the matter by Apple at any time, nor did it offer any view one way or the other,”

We have yet to hear from Apple. Meanwhile, USA Today cried foul, pointing a finger at Google and essentially calling the company a bunch of hypocrites. Afterall, Google only allowed a half-baked version of Skype (Skype Lite) on the Android Market and rejected a full version of the VoIP app to protect their own interests, and that is exactly what Apple is doing here. Right?

skypelite

Wrong. Plain and simple wrong and Andry Rubin took to the Google Public Policy Blog to make sure the entire world would know about it:

Here are the facts, clear and simple: While the first generation of our Android software did not support full-featured VoIP applications due to technology limitations, we have worked through those limitations in subsequent versions of Android, and developers are now able to build and upload VoIP services.

….

As we told USA Today earlier in the week Google did not reject an application from Skype or from any other company that provides VoIP services. To suggest otherwise is false. At this point no software developer — including Skype — has implemented a complete VoIP application for Android. But we’re excited to see — and use — these applications when they’re submitted, because they often provide more choice and options for users. We also look forward to the day when consumers can access any application, including VoIP apps, from any device, on any network.

BURN! What I find ridiculous is that Google already told USA Today earlier in the week that this is NOT how the Skype situation with Android went down. Clearly USA today is sailing a ship of iFanboys into the side of FCC mountain.

Unfortunately I don’t think FCC involvement is necessary. Furthermore I wish the FCC wouldn’t get involved. Apple owns the iPhone platform and they should have the right to accept/deny applications based on their own principles. The rejection of the Google Voice Application has only proved the company is incapable of fairly monitoring their App Store in favor of their own customers interests. And their customers – including prominent Apple fans with HUGE persuasion power – are angrily peacing out and suggesting everyone they know do the same.

Its clear (at least in my mind) that Google’s open nature and attitude will win out in the long-run, and if Apple doesn’t change up their attitude, they’re going to get pummeled. Apple as a “cool” brand is starting to decline as they piss people off with the same proprietary bull crap from which Android’s purpose was born. And Jason Kincaid from TechCrunch makes a great point – even if Google DID reject the Skype application for Android, the company could distribute it places besides the Android Market since users can freely download and install APKs from 3rd parties.

Google isn’t perfect by any means. Google makes mistakes. Google is a publicly traded company and they have to look out for stock holder interests, too. But I think the management at Google has their heart in the right place – with the customers. And they realize that in the new age of business, maximum long-term profitability is achieved by first and foremost satisfying the needs and wants of the customers and figuring out how to best monetize the awesome solutions you’ve provided them.

Apple hasn’t dug a grave with this latest fiasco, but they’re helping Google illustrate the benefits of Android and watching prominent Apple fans switch sides because of their irresponsibility in serving their faithful customers. And that’s why I love Android… good lookin’ out as always, Big G.

Continue reading:

TAGS:



  • Peeet

    I wonder how messy this thing might get for Apple. I personally disagree with you in respect of the FCC’s intervention. It’s their duty to make sure there’s no dodgy anti-competitive behaviour going on in the market, and by blocking things like Google Voice and Spotify, for what appears to be no other purpose than to protect their own revenues, they’re being high anti-competitive and that’s very illegal for very good reasons, all in our, as consumers, interests. The whole case between Psystar and Apple is another example of Apple being a little too Orwellian. I don’t believe that Google are at fault here, but with Schmidt only leaving the Apple board the other week, I for one am sailing the conspiracy ship and calling foul on part of Apple. I love Apple, but they really have a Chinese democracy going on and it’s shocking they get away with it. I really hoped the EU would have done something for us by now, like they have done with Microsoft and Intel, but some reason Apple keep getting away with it.
    Alas, I concede, this only helps to help fire the Android flame of supremacy. It feels like Android is the bastard brother of iPhone – purposefully doing everything Apple won’t.

  • http://www.rentindianmovies.com Justin M.

    I also completely disagree with you about the FCC getting involved. I think this is exactly the kind of issue where the FCC should be getting involved. It is strange to see the FCC actually sticking up for consumers, but it’s a welcome sight to see in my opinion.

  • David Freeman

    Hi Rob.

    Pick one: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocrasy

    hypocrasy

    The word you’ve entered isn’t in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above.

    1. hypocrisy
    2. hippocras
    3. hypocorism
    4. hypochlorous
    5. hypodermis
    6. hypodermal

  • http://none james Jones

    Total BURN on the spelling…. but give Rob a break, we all rely on technology and spell check too much. It happens to all of us once in a while, but most of us don’t have a website with 1,000,000 hits a month. Contrats, Phandroid.

  • Rob Jackson

    Thanks James Jones :) I actually don’t use spell check but definitely should. I’m always in such a rush to post. It seems like 2 big complaints are (1) We want timely news ASAP, (2) We want perfect grammar. Those things work against each other so I sacrifice grammar for time, hoping you appreciate it gets to you quicker and can understand what I’m saying.

    Of course if I knew where the spell check button was it would only take a few extra seconds… ;)

  • http://www.AllSanDiegoComputerRepair.com SDscorch

    anyone who finds typos… can KEEP THEM!heh;)
    ..
    regarding the FCC – i’ve never really considered it but.. i actually agree! i think the FCC should keep their noses outta apple’s bizniss! why? cuz… if apple wants to slit their own throat, let’em!
    ..
    so apple is hurtling off the road – fine! the advantage of having android will make itself clear in due time – android hasn’t even really begun to fight yet
    ..
    let the market decide

  • DL

    If the FCC was really looking out for the consumer, we wouldn’t have these long contracts for services. Example, an iPhone does not cost $600 to make, but that’s what you have to pay to get one out of contract. Another reason why Apple has such a high profit margin. The FCC really just looks out for other people with money

  • juan

    Let me just say………!!!! That’s right Apple android. Is here
    So in good words f@*# bitch…..you can stop the unstopple bitch….!!!!

  • http://www.AllSanDiegoComputerRepair.com SDscorch

    europe has a pretty good cell phone system

  • Daniel


    “AT&T was not asked about the matter by Apple at any time, nor did it offer any view one way or the other,”

    Notice how they word this? Sure, Apple may not have specifically asked AT&T, “Hey, is this app ok?”… but it says nothing about AT&T and Apple having an agreement on a set of rules that apps had to follow. Why else would Apple care? Its not like making apps that duplicate features cuts in to Apple’s profit… If anything it makes them more money (if the app isn’t free) because they get a cut of the revenue.

  • InRSoul

    I try to tell all my friends to steer away from Apple since they are becoming more and more like Microsoft. They grabed the industry with the iPod, then tried to seal it with the iPhone. created itunes where you can’t share Tunes with other devices. Apple talks down on Microsoft yet in another platform (Mobile devices) they are the “Microsoft”.

  • mikeeeee

    i’ve asked numerous people and all have replied that UMA capabilities have to be baked in at the foundry.

    i live in a no coverage area and i would kill for a UMA capable android.

    talk about tying it all together.

    when one arrives on the scene i’ll pick up cans if i have to in order to buy it.

    give it time.

    i waited 3 years for UMA, another little while longer is no biggie.

  • http://slideme.org Shane Isbell

    Google does have a non-compete clause in its Market agreement, which precludes stocking of applications that sell digital content. They aren’t completely clean in this.

    Shane

  • http://www.andrudes.com Todd A.

    Those of us who are “long enough in the tooth” to remember Apple as THE personal computer powerhouse (i.e. Apple //e) recognize how Apple’s uber-proprietary behavior is now going to cost them their dominant position in smartphones. Only real difference is that Apple essentially lost a smaller U.S. personal computer market to the more open Microsoft/IBM platform back then. And, today, Apple’s going to lose a WORLDWIDE smartphone market to Google. Twenty five years later, and they still haven’t learned how to hold on to a virtual monopoly. That being said, I still like Apple, also.

  • Evan S.



    “AT&T was not asked about the matter by Apple at any time, nor did it offer any view one way or the other,”

    Notice how they word this? Sure, Apple may not have specifically asked AT&T, “Hey, is this app ok?”… but it says nothing about AT&T and Apple having an agreement on a set of rules that apps had to follow. Why else would Apple care? Its not like making apps that duplicate features cuts in to Apple’s profit… If anything it makes them more money (if the app isn’t free) because they get a cut of the revenue.”

    That could be true, but I’m sort of leaning the other way. Apple has always done things like this. Ipods locked up, batteries unchangable, etc… So I can believe it if AT&T wasn’t involved, but yes, as you said, AT&T no doubt makes money off apps that are sold (At least a small profit), so you’d think they may have had a say SOMEWHERE… Although, if anything, they should have been in favor of it… Hmm…

  • G

    What happened to Skype?
    I love skype… why do they not have a full version?
    Also I cant even use there half version in Canada.
    I will swap to Google Voice when it comes to Canada.

  • Land-of-Mordor

    #1 “…really hoped the EU would have done something for us by now, like they have done with Microsoft and Intel, but some reason Apple keep getting away with it…”

    It’s simple, Apple in EU is the smallest piece of pie. That’s why EU firts go after Microsoft and then Intel. May be in the future there’ll be a nice present for Apple from the UE, but there’s no official complaints and no company have apply to.

    Here in the UE we have a technical authority that check the devices (UE stamps you can see printed or pasted on the device) and another authority that takes care about competition rules. Also, there’re another authorities at UE countries with the same role. It’s differente that in USA where you have the same authority taking care of everything about communications.

    And, finally, sorry for my bad english ;)