Steve Jobs and Apple famously dissembled about the CEO's health, until Jobs took a six-month medical leave. And what did Jobs do on his return? Issued a controversial statement about Google that the search company has now flatly contradicted.

The drawn-out confusion about why Apple rejected the Google Voice telephony application from its iPhone App Store has been agonizing to anyone who has followed it. Apple sources spread the rumor the call-forwarding system was rejected due to objections from Apple partner AT&T. This proved completely false, Apple was the one with issues. Apple then insisted, in a public letter to the FCC, "Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application, and continues to study it." The letter went out July 31, at least a full month after Jobs resumed his CEO duties.

Google has now made public its own FCC response. And, go figure, it offers specific details on how Apple did, in fact reject, Google Voice, directly and repeatedly. Apple marketing honcho Phil Schiller delivered the news, according to Google (click any image to enlarge):

Here are the reasons Apple gave:

Apple, we predict, will try and explain this contradiction away as a miscommunication, either between Schiller and Google or between Schiller and the Apple team that prepared the response to the FCC. That puts a lot of heat on Schiller, but it wouldn't be the first time Jobs has allowed one of his underlings to take the fall for misleading outsiders.

UPDATE: Now Apple says it's Google that's not telling the truth. John Paczkowski of All Things D quotes an Apple spokeswoman saying "Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application and we continue to discuss it with Google." Fun!

On the bright side, regardless of what Apple has told Google in the past — now subject of a "he said/she said" dispute — Apple does seem to be sticking by the idea that it could at some point approve Google Voice. And for Google Voice users that's at least a nice thought.