Apple today answers the FCC's questions relating to the Google Voice application rejection.
This is a classic case for Apple's marketing department: how to come out looking like the user champion and not a company involved in anti-competitive practices. As the alternative PC company, Apple has always had to walk a super-fine line between being a business behemoth and that friendly, happy brand. In essence, they've had to become the "PC" PC maker.
So read between the lines in this release and you'll see Apple's marketing magic eke out: (I'll translate for ya!)
Apple Marketing Message: We're the good guys. "The App Store provides a frictionless distribution network that levels
the playing field for individual and large developers of mobile
applications. We provide every developer with the same software that we
use to create our own iPhone applications"
Reality distortion field turned off: Actually, that's not really true. You can't delete an iPhone application. And you can't decide who gets featured on the store or their TV commercials. So not really a level playing field.
Apple Marketing Message: We know what we're doing, so let us keep doing it." The App Store has been more successful than anyone could have ever imagined. Today, just over a year since opening, the App Store offers over 65,000
iPhone applications, and customers have downloaded over 1.5 billion
Reality distortion field turned off: The App Store works in concert with the iPhone. No other store is allowed to. How successful would it be if it had any real competition?
Apple Marketing Message: Developers have choices: "We are continuing to study the Google Voice application and its
potential impact on the iPhone user experience. Google is of course
free to provide Google Voice on the iPhone as a web application through
Apple’s Safari browser, just as they do for desktop PCs, or to provide
its “Google-branded” user experience on other phones, including
Android-based phones, and let consumers make their choices."
Reality distortion field turned off: Um, how is Google Voice going to run in Safari? It would require a way to install software on the phone. Oh yeah, there is a way, it's called the App Store. Oops.
Apple Marketing Message: Without Apple, your phones would still suck. "In little more than a year, we have raised the bar for consumers’ rich
mobile experience beyond what we or anyone else ever imagined in both
scale and quality."
Reality distortion field turned off: Let's face it, the iPhone + App Store is much better than what came before. But this is all groundwork for the true goal: a software distribution system the world has never seen – software delivered wirelessly to computers, phones, tablets, cars, refrigerators, TVs and alarm clocks. When Apple says "ever imagined" they mean "what we've told you about."
Stay tuned. It gets more interesting later this year.