Android vrs Apple, popcorn time :)

trip1eX wrote:

No flaw. If "rejected" apps can make their way back without the FCC then obviously it doesn't necessarily take the FCC for an app to come back from a rejection notice.

We're talking Google Voice here. An app that Apple and AT&T see as threatening and taking money out of their pockets, and which falls directly in the FCC's realm. We're not talking about the rejection of Barbie: Drunk Slut College Days.

From ATTs letter to the FCC:

"AT&T expects that Google will provide a complete description of Google Voice in response to the letter it received from the Commission and we look forward to learning more about Google Voice based on that response – in particular, Google’s position on the regulatory classification of Google Voice and the intercarrier compensation applicable to calls made using the Google Voice platform."

....
To be sure, consumers seeking a more desktop-like experience have that choice as well in the wireless marketplace. In the Google/Android model, for example, the operating system is reportedly accessible to any developer with no pre-certification process, thus allowing Google and its broadband and device partners to offer a different, competing customer experience – one that may be preferred by some consumers, but that involves its own trade-offs as the consumer bears a greater risk of malware and lower quality applications.

...

...
"See Bob Tedeschi, Cellphones Largely Immune to Viruses, for Now, New York Times (Aug. 13, 2009) (“[M]obile software shops – like the Research in Motion App World for BlackBerrys, the Apple App Store, the Nokia Ovi Store and the application stores of the various wireless operators – test and approve programs before selling them. . . . Google, whose Android software runs the newest generation of smartphones, . . . said consumers must rely on user feedback to determine whether to trust a software maker. That leaves some risk, since newer apps in Android’s ‘Market’ will have too little feedback for it to be of real use.”)."

....

"First, AT&T and Apple discussed streaming audio iPhone applications proposed by Pandora and AOL and, in particular, the potential congestion that these applications may cause on AT&T’s 3G network. After these applications were included in the Apple App Store, Apple upgraded the technology used to stream these services in order to further optimize usage on the network."

"Second, AT&T and Apple discussed a proposed iPhone application from MobiTV and CBS that was designed to stream live video and audio from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament over Wi-Fi connections and AT&T’s 3G network. Specifically, AT&T and Apple discussed the likelihood that such an application could cause substantial network congestion and degradation of service for certain customers on AT&T’s 3G network, especially customers accessing cell sites located near colleges involved in the tournament. Apple conveyed these concerns to MobiTV and CBS, who modified their application to deliver live video, audio and scores over Wi-Fi, while delivering live audio, still photos and scores over AT&T’s 3G network."

...

"For example, some devices support Wi-Fi, some do not; some have keyboards, while others have touch screens; some support GPS location-based social networking applications, some do not; and some support full motion video capture and play back, but others lack a camera altogether. And some special purpose devices, like the Amazon Kindle, are sold for a one-time fee with lifetime broadband connectivity, but are intended for only limited Internet use and do not even permit phone calls.8 Thus, the Kindle reflects market-driven trade-offs by Amazon: the absence of a monthly charge for connectivity goes hand-in-hand with the limitations on the Kindle’s use, and those limitations are part and parcel of the Kindle’s unique value proposition."

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iPhone Text Messaging app store apps: iText Free; Free Texting SMS; Freedom SMS; Textfree Unlimited; Free SMS; Blue ShortcutSMS

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It is widely recognized by economists and jurists that parties to strategic alliances in competitive markets may enter into contracts to promote and protect their respective business interests and to refrain from taking actions adverse to those interests.12 Consistent with such lawful, economically efficient practices common among parties to strategic alliances, including participants in the mobile wireless marketplace,13 AT&T and Apple agreed that Apple would not take affirmative steps to enable an iPhone to use AT&T’s wireless service (including 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi) to make VoIP calls without first obtaining AT&T’s consent.

The parties’ concurrence on this provision was particularly important in light of the risks the parties assumed in bringing the iPhone to market. From the beginning, both AT&T and Apple recognized that each party would need to invest substantial capital and other resources to successfully develop, market and support the iPhone – a product with unprecedented features and capabilities from a manufacturer that had never before built a wireless phone.14 AT&T and Apple also recognized their mutual interest in stimulating sales in the highly competitive wireless marketplace by offering consumers the iPhone at an attractive retail price.

The parties’ willingness and ability to assume the risk of their investments in the iPhone and of their pricing strategy were predicated, in significant part, on certain assumptions about the monthly service revenues that would be generated by iPhone users. In particular, both parties required assurances that the revenues from the AT&T voice plans available to iPhone customers would not be reduced by enabling VoIP calling functionality on the iPhone. Thus, AT&T and Apple agreed that Apple would not take affirmative steps to enable an iPhone to use AT&T’s wireless service to make VoIP calls.

Without this arrangement, the prices consumers pay for the iPhone – particularly the broadband-enabled iPhone 3G – would likely have been higher than they are today. Indeed, AT&T offers the iPhone 3G to consumers at a price significantly below its cost as a result of the largest subsidy AT&T has ever provided on a wireless handset, on both a per-unit and aggregate basis.15 That subsidy has made the iPhone accessible to millions of consumers, at prices as low as $99 per iPhone 3G. Those consumers are taking advantage of its revolutionary features and capabilities for a wireless broadband Internet access experience that was not previously possible on any other handset. As a result, iPhone customers use their handset for broadband Internet access to a far greater degree than do customers of any other AT&T phone. As competitors roll out their own “iPhone killers,” customers of other phones undoubtedly will follow suit. In this sense, the iPhone and the subsidies that were instrumental in popularizing it, helped to spawn a sea- change in the way Americans access the broadband Internet.

Do any devices that operate on AT&T’s network allow use of the Google Voice application?

On AT&T’s network, consumers may access and use Google Voice through the web browser on any web-enabled device, including the iPhone. As noted on the Google Voice website, “just type ‘www.google.com/voice/m’ on any web-enabled mobile phone and get started.”
Google also offers Google Voice applications specifically for Research in Motion’s BlackBerry devices and Android-based devices, which may be downloaded from Google’s website. Although AT&T does not currently offer an Android-based device, the Google Voice BlackBerry application may be downloaded to and runs on BlackBerry devices that operate on AT&T’s network. (AT&T does not disable access to or use of this application.) In addition, press reports have indicated that Google is developing a new, browser-based Google Voice application that is specifically optimized for the iPhone.

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VoIP iPhone apps: iCall Free VoIP; WalkieTalkieVoIP; Nimbuzz; FriendCaller Instant VoIP; Vopium VoIP Caller; Barablu; Call Global App; WCell International; Skype (all wi-fi only.)

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As noted above, AT&T regularly reviews its policies regarding features and capabilities available through the devices we offer in order to provide an attractive range of options for our customers. Consistent with this approach, we plan to take a fresh look at possibly authorizing VoIP capabilities on the iPhone for use on AT&T’s 3G network.

...

From NYT:

"Other wireless carriers, including Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, do not have restrictions on applications that make calls over the Internet using their smartphones.

From Apple:

"The application “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 voice mail,”

Apple also raised concerns that Google Voice copied all of the information about a user’s contacts onto Google’s servers. “We have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways,”

"The application has not been approved because, as submitted for review, 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. Apple spent a lot of time and effort developing this distinct and innovative way to seamlessly deliver core functionality of the iPhone. For example, on an iPhone, the “Phone” icon that is always shown at the bottom of the Home Screen launches Apple’s mobile telephone application, providing access to Favorites, Recents, Contacts, a Keypad, and Visual Voicemail. The Google Voice application replaces Apple’s Visual Voicemail by routing calls through a separate Google Voice telephone number that stores any voicemail, preventing voicemail from being stored on the iPhone, i.e., disabling Apple’s Visual Voicemail. Similarly, SMS text messages are managed through the Google hub—replacing the iPhone’s text messaging feature. In addition, the iPhone user’s entire Contacts database is transferred to Google's servers, and we have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways. These factors present several new issues and questions to us that we are still pondering at this time."

"The following applications also fall into this category.
Name: GVDialer / GVDialer Lite Developer: MobileMax info@mobile-mx.com
Name: VoiceCentral Developer: Riverturn, Inc. 4819 Emperor Blvd., Suite 400 Durham, NC 27703
Name: GV Mobile / GV Mobile Free Developer: Sean Kovacs sean@seankovacs.com"

Yes, and we're saying that Apple is abusing its gatekeeper status, and in fact shouldn't be a gatekeeper at all. Or, if it wants to be, it should be easy to move in and out of the walled garden.

Those walls aren't there for OUR benefit, they're there for Apple's.

I wouldn't trust the Apple letter to the FCC.

All three companies submitted statements to the FCC — Apple claimed the app hadn't been rejected at all, that they were simply "studying" it further. The public version of Google's statement contained a redacted section, which they politely referred to as "sensitive," but after seeing Apple's comments, they decided to reveal the entire document. Google's FCC filing directly contradicts what Apple said: "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 Apple representatives indicated that the company did not want applications that could potentially replace such functionality." (PDF, page 4.) Apple quickly released a statement reiterating that they did not reject the app.

Apple and AT&T both have a very clear motive to stop the release of Voice and anything like it.

Much from my post above that some maybe didn't read:

You can buy a Blackberry from ATT and download the GoogleVoice App. ATT doesn't restrict it.

SEcond, Apple said they rejected GV because it changes the entire core functionality UI of the phone. GV even changes the little phone icon on the home page according to Apple. No-no on the iPhone. Basically they make it a Google-branded phone. No wonder Apple rejected that. How would MS or Sony or Nintendo feel if 3rd parties were suddenly allowed to modify the front-end of consoles and market these solutions at retail?

You might not like this model, but many do. And lucky you have plenty of choice in the marketplace.

ATT says in their letter to FCC that Google is working on a new iPhone specific version of GV.

ATT also says the only agreement in place with Apple is that Apple can't allow VOIP calls over 3G (along with redirected TV signals because of network congestion.) ATT wants to protect the revenue generated from the iPhone because they paid alot of money to subsidize the thing.

They are going to look over that policy though. Skype has hailed this.

Also note that ATT, in its letter, does not say they have an agreement in place with Apple to restrict SMS over the internet on the iPhone. They only mentioned VOIP. To back this up, look at GV on a Blackberry on ATTs network. They don't restrict it. Now they are on record.

Also of note is you can send free SMS messages to other cellphones through AIM or Beejive and quite a few other apps. Push notifications tell you when you receive messages.

Also saw an interesting comment "there is a $2.95 app that makes the Google Voice SMSes push messages that go right into your inbox. You need a separate client for outbound."

To be honest, I think which phone we like isn't much of an issue. I will defend my G1 while admitting it's faults. And there are may things about the IPhone I envy. Same with the Blackberry.
It isn't the phone I have a problem with, it is Apple,Google,Micro..(err..they are not even worth mentioning when it comes to mobile software). Have problems with the carriers also. I don't think that the FCC needs to investigate this..I think free enterprise will take care of it all. Truth is, very few of us have Google Voice at the moment, so not much of an issue. Kind of like when gmail arrived. But when Google Voice is released for all, then I think the game will change big time. Skype will still have a use, but say goodbye to Vonage. As far as Apple goes, I think they have had a nice eight year run, and I respect that, but if they insist on being so walled, I think they will lose out at the end of the game.

Monsoon315 wrote:

To be honest, I think which phone we like isn't much of an issue. I will defend my G1 while admitting it's faults. And there are may things about the IPhone I envy. Same with the Blackberry.
It isn't the phone I have a problem with, it is Apple,Google,Micro..(err..they are not even worth mentioning when it comes to mobile software). Have problems with the carriers also. I don't think that the FCC needs to investigate this..I think free enterprise will take care of it all. Truth is, very few of us have Google Voice at the moment, so not much of an issue. Kind of like when gmail arrived. But when Google Voice is released for all, then I think the game will change big time. Skype will still have a use, but say goodbye to Vonage. As far as Apple goes, I think they have had a nice eight year run, and I respect that, but if they insist on being so walled, I think they will lose out at the end of the game.

What's "walled" about 70,000 apps and thousands of developers?

I think the more accurate term is managed. The iPhone is a managed platform. Many prefer that because it means less hassles. The same reason many prefer console gaming over pcgaming.

AS far as GV I think we've overemphasized its importance in this thread by talking about it nearly exclusively. IT's new like you said. Not many have it. And you can take advantage of the "1 number" on the iPhone as it is. That part doesn't require constant interaction with the crappy web app afaik. And we've overemphasized the rejection as an absolute. LIke a rejected app is one and done. Can't come back. Never happen in the future.

The videogame example that most closely parallels this is the MS vs EA debacle back when EA didn't have its games or the online portions of its sports games on Xbox Live. It took ~1 year for that to work out. And that was for an established & popular franchise.

And what does "lose out" mean? Not become a monopoly? Not be #1? Go to zero? Be last place? Be #2 or #3? or .....

I have Google Voice, and I tried to cancel it the other day (discovering that it's impossible to do so in the process). It's a cool idea, but it means getting a new phone number, telling people to use that one instead, etc. Forget it. Everyone who I actually want to talk to gets my cell number, and businesses get the home phone number. Maybe if I owned multiple houses or ran a home business, but as it is I have absolutely no use for most of the features Google Voice provides. Unlimited text messaging? Who cares? I have an IM client on my phone.

What's "walled" about 70,000 apps and thousands of developers?

The fact that I can't run what I want to run. There are walls between me and using the phone the way I wish. There is no NEED for them to be there; they exist for Apple's benefit, not for mine.

What's "walled" about 70,000 apps and thousands of developers?

I think the more accurate term is managed. The iPhone is a managed platform. Many prefer that because it means less hassles. The same reason many prefer console gaming over pcgaming.

AS far as GV I think we've overemphasized its importance in this thread by talking about it nearly exclusively. IT's new like you said. Not many have it. And you can take advantage of the "1 number" on the iPhone as it is. That part doesn't require constant interaction with the crappy web app afaik. And we've overemphasized the rejection as an absolute. LIke a rejected app is one and done. Can't come back. Never happen in the future.

The videogame example that most closely parallels this is the MS vs EA debacle back when EA didn't have its games or the online portions of its sports games on Xbox Live. It took ~1 year for that to work out. And that was for an established & popular franchise.

And what does "lose out" mean? Not become a monopoly? Not be #1? Go to zero? Be last place? Be #2 or #3? or .....

What's "walled" about 70,000 apps and thousands of developers?

I think the more accurate term is managed. The iPhone is a managed platform. Many prefer that because it means less hassles. The same reason many prefer console gaming over pcgaming.

AS far as GV I think we've overemphasized its importance in this thread by talking about it nearly exclusively. IT's new like you said. Not many have it. And you can take advantage of the "1 number" on the iPhone as it is. That part doesn't require constant interaction with the crappy web app afaik. And we've overemphasized the rejection as an absolute. LIke a rejected app is one and done. Can't come back. Never happen in the future.

The videogame example that most closely parallels this is the MS vs EA debacle back when EA didn't have its games or the online portions of its sports games on Xbox Live. It took ~1 year for that to work out. And that was for an established & popular franchise.

And what does "lose out" mean? Not become a monopoly? Not be #1? Go to zero? Be last place? Be #2 or #3? or .....

Apple is chocking on the the apps..have great app with android phone. How many does one need? Just saying that Apple is kind of being prissy about certain apps while Android is not.

glad you like your phone..I like mine..and kind of stupid of me to go on debating about a stupid phone.

That's what we do here in T&C.

Monsoon315 wrote:

glad you like your phone..I like mine..and kind of stupid of me to go on debating about a stupid phone.

Aren't you the one that put Android vs Apple in the thread title?

Anyway 2 platforms. 1 managed. 1 unmanaged. Both have tradeoffs.

It really is analogous to console vs pcgaming.

Oh speaking of GV again. ATT filed a complaint to the FCC today because Google has chosen not to connect customers to certain conference call and chat lines because Google would have to pay high access fees due to rural carriers attracting these businesses and then cutting them in on the high access fees. Sounds corrupt and it is, but FCC rules mean ATT and company have to abide and connect those calls and pay the fees. Interestingly enough ATT and the other phone companies attempted to not pay these fees year ago and the FCC came down hard on them a few years back.

Google's defense is they are a free web-based application (yeah now they say they are web-based when in their complaint against Apple they say their web application doesn't have all the functionality of the downloaded app,) they aren't a phone company aka you still need a phone line and GV is invitation only.

It will be interesting to see what happens and how the FCC classifies GV and Google. Google says open internet rules don't apply to web software apps only to broadband providers nor do they think they are a phone company.

I don't quite buy Google's argument that GV is purely a web app either even if a a web apps doen't fall under open internet regulations. IT is, but it's not VOIP either . And GV is connected to the POTS network somehow because you dial your GV number from a regular landline or cellphone. They must have bought a bank of numbers to do this and setup their servers and connected them to POTS and also to the internet so folks can manage the interconnectedness.

Yeah, definitely some hypocrisy there. I wish the FCC had the power and cojones to take both AT&T and Google and just straighten this whole mess out.

Hmm, I dunno, Google has a point that their (free) service doesn't even work if you're not already buying a phone from someone else.

I think it's fairly difficult to characterize Google Voice as a 'phone service' when it requires a phone.

ATT authorizes VoIP capabilities on the iPhone for use on AT&T’s 3G network.

But still uses your voice minutes. How messed up is that?

Edwin wrote:

But still uses your voice minutes. How messed up is that?

That's a net neutrality violation, right there. Too bad there's no means to enforce net neutrality yet.

Edwin wrote:

But still uses your voice minutes. How messed up is that?

No, no, it means Skype etc on the iPhone can now use ATT's 3g network for placing voip calls. Saves you voice minutes.

AT least based on what I read in Pogue's NYT blog.

NSMike wrote:
Edwin wrote:

But still uses your voice minutes. How messed up is that?

That's a net neutrality violation, right there. Too bad there's no means to enforce net neutrality yet.

Ahh.. this is the classic case where the more we as consumers win the more business lose. Right now mobile data bandwidth sucks.. and with the proliferation of unlimited plans the whole concept of Net Neutrality is only going to lead to the eventual removal of unlimited data plans for everyone. We will have tiered plans within 2 years and the carriers will throw us a bone with unlimited voice plans to "make up for it"

trip1eX wrote:
Edwin wrote:

But still uses your voice minutes. How messed up is that?

No, no, it means Skype etc on the iPhone can now use ATT's 3g network for placing voip calls. Saves you voice minutes.

AT least based on what I read in Pogue's NYT blog.

The announcement, CU advocates say, is a step in the right direction. However, AT&T's new VoIP offer may yet prove to be a very limited victory for consumers. Blackberry users can already make VoiP calls via Skype and other providers on AT&T's 3G network. However, the calls go over the voice portion of the network, so consumers use up their minutes. The only time it pays to use Skype over 3G is when calling foreign countries, which will be charged as domestic minutes rather that the much pricier foreign minutes.

Source

Consumer Reports and their sources says placing a VoIP call on Skype using the 3G network will use your AT&T voice plan minutes.

That would be pointless then.