Google today made public the redacted parts of its letter addressed to the Federal Communications Commission written after Apple had rejected the Google Voice application from the iPhone. The redacted portion of the filing shows that Apple did reject Google Voice and Google Latitude, a location-aware application, mostly because they were better than, or performed the same functions as, the iPhone maker’s pre-loaded software. In its filing, Apple told the FCC that it hadn’t rejected the Voice app, it was only studying it. But this little contradiction shows how in the world of Apple, no one shall sit higher than the king. From the letter:
Apple’s representatives informed Google that the Google Latitude application was rejected because Apple believed the application has the potential to: i) replace the preloaded maps application, (ii) create user confusion since the preloaded maps application on the iPhone is a version of Google Maps, and (iii) offer new features not present on the preloaded maps application (which might also contribute to the user confusion referenced above). The Apple representative indicated that the company did not want applications that could potentially replace such functionality and potentially create user confusion.
While this is a bum deal for Google (although the subsequent publicity around Apple saying one thing to the FCC and telling Google something else may benefit the search firm), Apple doesn’t have to let others play in its playground, and I’m unclear as to what the FCC can do even if it wants to force the company to open up its device. Om has argued that this fight shows how Google and Apple are increasingly encroaching on each other’s turf, especially when it comes to delivering a mobile web experience. And when giants fight, it’s the little people who get crushed.