Why Didn't Google Throw Apple Under the Bus from the Start?

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-09-18 Print this article Print

Apple lied. That is basically what Google claimed yesterday when it published the redacted version of its filing about Google Voice to the Federal Communications Commission.

My first reaction to this was: WTF?! My second take was: Why? Why try to protect Apple by asking the FCC to keep confidential how Apple rejected the Google Voice application for its iPhone App Store, only to turn around a month later and patently throw Apple under the bus?

What changed? Google said the Freedom of Information Act swooped in and forced the hand of Google and the FCC, but Google also said it didn't try to oppose the FOIA rule with the FCC "in light of Apple's decision to make its own letter fully public and in the interest of transparency."

Yet this sudden urge for transparency only hurts Apple, which disputed Google's take on the issue.

Why didn't Google just throw Apple under the bus sooner?

Was Google embarrassed by the rejection? I don't think so. Many apps get rejected from the mercurial App Store reviewers.

Did Apple simply spin Google, asking the search giant to keep quiet while it spun its own version of the story to make it seem like Apple was actually not rejecting Google Voice, but still considering it?

That would surprise me in the sense that I can't imagine Google getting punked that way. Yet Apple's powers of persuasion and cunning control techniques are legendary.

Mike Arrington says Google released a nuke, but perhaps Google initially chose to coddle Apple because of the importance the iPhone holds for Google's mobile applications. For mobile apps, there is no hotter real estate than the iPhone.

Maybe Google wanted to play nice, legitimately, until the FOIA prevailed. Or maybe, and this is an outside shot here, just maybe Google planned this all along, knowing that the public would take its characterization of the failure for Google Voice to gain acceptance at the App Store -- the rejection -- over Apple's.

Perhaps Google leveraged Apple's reputation as a corporate stalwart of spin and deception against Apple, aiming for maximum PR damage. In that vein, it succeeded; if you read most of the reports, most people assume Apple is lying here.

The only thing we do know is Google or Apple is lying to us, and it sucks that the liar doesn't want to come clean.

If Google is found to have lied, it will shred its "don't be evil" reputation. If Apple is found to have lied, many will see it as par for the course. There's no secret which company has cultivated more credibility.

This has, as others have noted, devolved into a he said, she said, and we may never know the truth.

What do you think? Everyone else is weighing in.

del.icio.us | digg.com

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel