AT&T: We do not manage or approve applications for Apple’s App Store

“AT&T has replied to a Federal Communications Commission letter of inquiry into the role it played in the rejection of a number of third-party Google Voice apps and Google’s official GV client from Apple’s iTunes App Store. The gist of the reply: Don’t look at us,” John Paczkowski writes for AllThingsD.

“AT&T does not manage or approve applications for the App Store,” the company said in a statement. “We have received the letter and will, of course, respond to it.”

Paczkowski writes, “A flat denial, and one that would seem to throw Apple under the bus for denying iPhone owners access to Google Voice. Though just why Cupertino would take issue with an an iPhone application that offers free text messaging and allows users to make calls, routed via the Internet, for free in the United States and for a small fee internationally is unclear. After all, it’s not Apple’s domestic and international calling business the app is potentially encroaching on.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Okay, so AT&T “does not manage or approve applications for the App Store.” We knew that already, thanks. About all that AT&T’s statement does is leave us asking if they voice their displeasure over certain apps to Apple or otherwise influence Apple’s App Store management and/or app approvals?


  1. …or is there a clause in the contract that puts the burden of protecting ATT’s interest on Apple?

    If there is, then Apple has to do all it can to Protect them, otherwise it might be held responsible for not complying with and agreement….

  2. ATT may have in its contract with Apple that the App Store cannot offer apps which directly compete with ATT’s services for the iPhone. That would not involve ATT approving or reviewing any apps and would put the responsibility on Apple for rejecting such apps.

  3. @Pocketrash:

    Google doesn’t make money from giving away free apps; Google makes money from people buying ads on their free apps or clicking on ads in their free apps.

    Thus, Google wants its apps on the iPhone because no one uses apps on an Android phone.

  4. “..we do not manage or approve”–no but they sure as heck make it known to aapl what they don’t want on their network. U take that to the bank.

    AAPL should turn around & just say ‘okay, since it’s ALL COOL w/ ATT, we’ll go ahead & allow GoogVoice, Tethering, Slingbox (over 3G) apps etc”

    See what ATT says then ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />)

  5. All of this ATT-bashing is b*llsh*t. The iPhone has created a DRAMATIC increase in data traffic that ATT has to manage. If Apple asks ATT to let them know whether a particular application is likely to overwhelm their pipes, ATT should provide that information. I don’t know if that’s what happened here, but that would be GOOD for most iPhone users. The whiners who constantly bash ATT would be the first to complain if ATT raised iPhone data rates in order to pay for greater investments in data capacity. Basically, you want a free lunch, no doubt because you were raised to think that there is such a thing. The only thing that you–and your buddies at the FCC–are going to accomplish is to slay the goose that lays the golden eggs.
    That said, I think Apple should announce that it will be ending its exclusive arrangement with ATT when the current contract expires (though I hope they do NOT create a CDMA version of iPhone just for Verizon). At least some of the whiners will then shut up and, more importantly, it would make it harder for the busybodies at the FCC to get involved.

  6. In the words of The Washington Post’s famous Watergate-era editor, Benjamin Bradlee, this sounds very much like a “non-denial denial.” I believe AT&T;plays an “unofficial” role in the App approval process. I do not believe AT&T;.

  7. DaringFireball’s Gruber puts it perfectly clear:

    “More of a Non-Denial Denial if You Ask Me.

    There’s no question that this statement is intended to put the blame on Apple. But it’s not a flat denial.

    A flat denial would be something along the lines of “AT&T;has no objection to the Google Voice apps that have been removed from the App Store, and we welcome Apple to reconsider its decision.””

  8. One thing I learned early on is the TINSTAAFL rule of economics. At the same time, ATT should not be dumb ass about it. They should charge people for it at a reasonable rate.

  9. Off topic … MDN survey on Apple TV plans …. anyone know if Apple is phasing out the 40G Apple TV … tried to order one on the Canadian website …. the 40 is only available as a rench version …. the 160 is available in either version …. sorry for being off topic here ….

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