Corporate Chicanery with Apple, Google, AT&T, and the FCC

Everybody got all excited yesterday when Apple, AT&T, and Google posted their responses to the FCC’s request for information in its investigation into issues related to how applications get to the App Store, among other things.

On the one hand it looks good that the three made some of their responses public (Google did some redacting). On the other hand this is just more public relations buffoonery attempting to get the upper hand. If anyone thinks there’s a hint of transparency going on here, I’ve got some swampland to sell you.

Apple’s line of defense hints that they need better lawyers. First they claim they never denied the Google Voice app, then proceed to describe at length the reasons they would deny it. Maybe obfuscation is their strategy here, who knows. But the bottom line is that Apple is bringing the heat on itself by saying AT&T had nothing to do with the app denial. AT&T is grinning over this. Apple’s defense that the Google Voice app offers features that it 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 for telephone calls, text messaging and voicemail.

Maybe in Apple’s mind there’s a distinction here, but don’t a number of the camera apps do the same thing? I could be wrong on that one, but in any regard, this is all a big show with a hearing scheduled for this upcoming week. Too bad, the players can’t do a better job of carrying out their parts.