FCC investigates iPhone/AT&T app policies

On August 1, 2009

 Washington is getting involved in the day-to-day the operations and applications of the iPhone with a letter from the Federal Communications Commission to Catherine A. Novelli, the vice president of worldwide government affairs at Apple.

Exploring the growing issue of rejections such as the Google Voice app, the FCC ask Apple to comment on why Google Voice and other third-party apps had been approved and then rejected from the App Store. The FCC then asked for a full rundown of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications that have been approved for the iPhone and if they were permitted to operate on the AT&T 3G network.

The agency also questioned the role of AT&T in the approval process for apps as well as the general approval process for apps and whether consumers at the App Store are informed about the approval process.

We’ll see on Friday, August 21, how Apple will respond…or not.

According to the letter, "If Apple requests that any information or documents responsive to this letter be treated in a confidential manner, it shall submit, along with all responsive information and documents, a statement in accordance with section 0.459 of the Commission’s rules."

So, is this another dent in the armor of the AT&T stronghold on iPhone exclusives?  Do you think this is really going to make AT&T or Apple change or clarify their process for approval and disapproval?  Only time will tell.