Why Apple’s holding back Messages for Android: Hardware sales

At WWDC on Monday, Apple “again declined to extend its much-loved and much-used iMessage messaging system to Android, even though Google still seems vulnerable in this area,” Walt Mossberg reports for The Verge.

“Apple did announce a clutch of new features for iMessage, like giant emojis, and handwritten texts. And it’s turning the service into a true platform that can host third-party apps like cash transfer services, stickers, photo editing, and restaurant reservation apps,” Mossberg reports. “But all of this seemed more about keeping people on Apple hardware than about building the biggest possible services.”

“When I asked a senior Apple executive why iMessage wasn’t being expanded to other platforms, he gave two answers,” Mossberg reports. “First, he said, Apple considers its own user base of 1 billion active devices to provide a large enough data set for any possible AI learning the company is working on. And, second, having a superior messaging platform that only worked on Apple devices would help sales of those devices — the company’s classic (and successful) rationale for years.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Show of hands: Who bought or is keeping their iPhone because it offers the Messages app?

If your hand is raised, on a scale of 1-10 (1 = least important, 10 = most important) how important to your iPhone purchase/retention is Messages?

Apple’s new iMessage is great, but why the hell isn’t it on Android, yet? – June 14, 2016
Apple’s iMessage and Siri will allow iOS 10 users to send money via Square Cash – June 13, 2016
Apple to deliver iMessage to Android at WWDC – June 9, 2016


    1. If your hand is raised, that signals Messages already has some importance to you. You say “ZERO” simply by not raising your hand. Let me guess, Obama voter?

        1. Obama sucks. He’s incompetent. He’s weak. His economic policies a failures. His foreign policy failures are widespread. He is ridiculed by world leaders. He is a fool. But, he’c black, so that’s all that matters. Next, they’ll try to get another “:first” in there, so they can switch from tagging critics as “racists” to “sexists” and continue along with their failed Democrat policies that seek to preserve the status quo.

          “Saudi Arabia has funded 20% of Hillary’s U.S. Presidential Campaign.” – Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

        2. I know what you mean but the fact current moronic PC correct Dem leaders won’t say the words “Islamic Terrorists” makes for an extremely poor choice of party (or individuals) running the biggest super power in the world. And I am a Democrat as well! I just despise political correctness gone amuck to the detriment of dealing with situations like violent religious zealots or whoever. Call a spade a spade. If it walks like a duck, etc..

          I have heard people use arguments that we are “labeling” people, hmm, you mean like how we “labeled” German Nazi’s or at the time of Civil War the “North & South, Union & Confederate”? Identify your enemy and label away, otherwise you are in seriously disingenuous obfuscating denial. And losing the war.

          1. “There’s no magic to the phrase radical Islam. It’s a political talking point. It’s not a strategy. And the reason I am careful about how I describe this threat has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with actually defeating extremism. Groups like ISIL and al-Qaeda want to make this war a war between Islam and America or between Islam and the west. They want to claim that they are the true leaders of over a billion Muslims around the world who reject their crazy notions. They want us to validate them by implying that they speak for those billion plus people. That they speak for Islam. That’s their propaganda. That’s how they recruit. And if we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush and imply that we are at war with an entire religion, then we are doing the terrorists’ work for them.” ~ President Barack Obama, June 14, 2016

            1. Obama, in my opinion, is the least equipped leader to truly understand this threat. The problem with this statement is while most Muslims are not radical, any can be radicalized. It becomes a matter of odds and the fact it requires few radical converts to do massive damage.

  1. Hand not raised. My old 10-key texting was (and still is) sufficient. Media messaging is nice, but not (at all) one of the reasons I bought (and have kept) my iPhone.

    With that all said, iMessages and the way it doesn’t play nice with other messaging platforms, is one of my biggest gripes with the iEcosystem (R).

    That doesn’t mean that releasing iMessage to Android is the answer – most Fandroids wouldn’t use it still even then. An open collaboration with Google (*GASP*) would be the best solution to the problem, in my opinion. Heresy, I know. But sometimes the honest truth is hard to accept. (I hope there are other valid solutions. Please share rather than just giving one star ratings. I welcome 1 stars with thoughtful feedback.)

    1. I’m not sure what you’re doing and how you’re using the iMessage, but for most people, it works exactly as specified. You use it to send the old-fashioned SMS text messages to other people’s mobile phones. You can also send photo, audio and video files. If the other person also has an iPhone, your message travels via your data connection; otherwise, it goes as SMS / MMS.

      Having said that, there was a well-publicised snag where people who migrated from iPhone to Android, without first disabling iMessage on the iPhone ended up never getting messages from other iPhone users. I believe this snag has been resolved and no such problems exist for the few who migrate in that direction (or, who are forced to take a loaner Android while their iPhone is in the shop, or on order, or whatever).

      1. The “snag” you mention is where my problem has been. I’ll admit that I haven’t seen the issue in some time – a year perhaps – but it was terribly un-Apple-like. Even beyond that, when we hit data limits and turn off data, it fouls up between iPhone users with data turned off. (Or if you don’t believe that some of us have data usage concerns, I’ll be on a cruise ship next week. I’m not paying their outrageous prices for a data connection! Of course, SMS wouldn’t get to me then, either. 😛 )

        I still say that moving iMessages to Android will accomplish nothing, though. If you want things to travel to Android users, it will require Apple give Google the keys to the iMessage kingdom, so to speak. Heck, half of Android users wouldn’t even know how to download a new app for messaging!

  2. In China, I don’t think there are many left who still use iMessage. I don’t even keep message app on my first screen. Wechat, from which iMessage copied a lot of things, is the only messaging app you need here and one for-everything platform. It may be a peculiar thing about China. Or not. It’s not hard to imagine Facebook would achieve something close to that, since most of your friends and contacts are NOT using iMessage simply because they are on Android.

    1. Same for me. iMessage is my least used and least preferred messaging app. I of course use what everybody else uses. Line is most popular in this country, and for me it’s also quite a bit better to use. One big thing is the stickers. They seem frivolous at first, but when you’re communicating across languages an appropriate sticker can get the message across much better than any text could.

  3. Messages is a free service, not subject to SMS charges, running through Apple servers, paid for by sales of Apple hardware. Why would Apple incur the cost to run a service for the world? Would they start charging to accommodate the costs associated with a huge influx of new users? How would they explain the new costs for a formerly free perk to the Apple community? Who even thinks this would be a good idea?

  4. Loving iMessages. Use it constantly. Funny I haven’t run into any problems messaging anyone I know, including contractors and vendors. Maybe that’s because they don’t use POS mediocre cell phones from lying-in-wait copycat thieves?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.