- iMessage could have come to Android years ago.
- Court documents filed by Epic and Apple prior to their antitrust proceedings show that Apple managers never wanted to release iMessage for Android.
New findings show that Apple could have launched iMessage for Android years ago, but made a conscious decision against it. Epic’s antitrust lawsuit against Apple has revealed (via 9to5Mac) that the popular Messaging service was intentionally banned by Apple, although it may have been compatible with Android as early as 2013.
Court documents filed by Epic and Apple ahead of their upcoming trial make it clear that Apple executives opposed porting iMessage to Android for competitive reasons.
According to a deposit Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, said the company could have “made a version for Android that works with iOS” so that “there is cross-compatibility with the iOS platform that users of both platforms would have could seamlessly exchange messages with each other. “
However, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering and iOS manager, said, “iMessage for Android would only serve to remove an obstacle to iPhone families giving Android phones to their children.”
When a former Apple employee stated in 2016 that “iMessage is the toughest reason to leave the Apple Universe app,” Phil Schiller, who runs the App Store, said, “The move from iMessage to Android makes us more harm than help us. “
These statements reaffirm what most of us have known for a while – Apple likes to keep its ecosystem closed to engage and keep users there. The practice isn’t illegal, and those results wouldn’t necessarily hurt Apple. They’re just another way for Epic to endorse the point that Apple is using platform locking to maintain its market monopoly.
In the meantime, iMessage for Android is still unavailable and it doesn’t look like it will ever leave Apple’s walled garden. However, Android users can take advantage of this RCS That offers a similar experience in the Google Messages app.