Court documents filed in the Epic Games v. Apple case show that Apple considered a version of Messages for Android, but chose not to release the app.
The Cupertino smartphone giant had made a decision as early as 2013 to not develop its messaging platform for competing phones.
There would “have been cross-compatibility with the iOS platform so that users of both platforms would have been able to exchange messages with one another seamlessly”, said Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software and Services.
However, this idea was shot down by Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering and the executive in charge of iOS, saying that “iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones.”
Mr Federighi also said it would be a “horrible idea” to “make it easier for someone to switch away from our platforms.”
“In 2016, when a former Apple employee commented that ‘the #1 most difficult [reason] to leave the Apple universe app is iMessage . . . iMessage amounts to serious lock-in’ to the Apple ecosystem”, the court documents state, Phil Schiller, former Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing, said: “moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us, this email illustrates why.”
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in August 2019:
Messages for Android was, as one point strongly considered and a little birdie tells us that it still exists, updated, in the vault is case Apple ever decides it makes sense economically and/or strategically to release it.
For the time being, those who settle for Google insecure, privacy-trampling, fragmented, toxic hellstew will remain in their green bubble ghetto sporadically soiling our pristine, blue, full-featured Messages.
Keeping Messages within the Apple device ecosystem is clearly working: Nearly 9 in 10 U.S. teens own an Apple iPhone – April 7, 2021