iMessage on Android ‘will hurt us more than help us
Apple’s services purposefully lock customers into the iPhone ecosystem, preventing them from easily switching from iOS to Android, and iMessage is a prime example of this.
At least, that’s according to a court filing by Epic Games, which cites information from several of Apple’s top executives. While the Epic vs. Apple case revolves around the App Store’s contentious 30% commission on in-app purchases, new filings made public ahead of the trial next month shed more light on some of the companies’ main arguments against one another. Epic claims that Apple purposefully designed its services to lock customers into the iOS ecosystem, making it difficult for them to leave.
While some services, such as Apple Music, are available on multiple platforms, iMessage has long been exclusive to Apple.
According to Epic’s filing, one unnamed former employee stated in an email, “iMessage is the #1 most difficult [reason] to leave the Apple universe app… iMessage amounts to serious lock-in.”
Following the email, Apple’s Phil Schiller responded, saying, “Moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than it will help us, and this email demonstrates why.”
Meanwhile, Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, is quoted in the filing as saying, “iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] impediment to iPhone families giving their children Android phones.”
According to the filing, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue decided not to develop an iMessage for Android version as early as 2013, despite the fact that such a version was theoretically possible.
In addition to iMessage, Epic’s filing mentions FaceTime as an example of an Apple lock-in service. Apple’s Tim Cook, Craig Federighi, and Phil Schiller, as well as Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, are all expected to testify when the trial begins next month. It will be interesting to see how this one unfolds.