Making the switch from an iPhone to an Android phone is difficult, with one of the main reasons being iMessage. Apple’s popular messaging service has long been in demand in the Android universe and despite several workarounds, an official app from Apple hasn’t come out yet. Epic Games in its recent court filing now cites statements from Apple executives that suggest the main reason – ecosystem lock-in.
Epic Games has long been drawn in a spat with Apple over Fortnite’s ban for over a year. In its latest court filing, Epic Games cites statements from Apple executives that point at Apple’s intentions of locking in its users into the Apple ecosystem. The statements talk at great length about the iMessage service along with FaceTime and other Apple services.
iMessage is Apple’s way of locking in its customers
In the filing, Epic states a few statements made my some of the renowned Apple executives. The #1 most difficult [reason] to leave the Apple universe app is iMessage … iMessage amounts to serious lock-in,” said one unnamed Apple employee. Philip Schiller, an Apple Fellow, then followed it up with a statement, saying, “moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us, this email illustrates why.”
Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering and the executive in charge of iOS, is quoted in the filing, saying , “iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones.”
Further statements also hint at Apple’s intentions to avoid developing iMessage and FaceTime for other platforms. “Mr. Cue testified that Apple “could have made a version on Android that worked with iOS” such that 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,”” says the filing. Eddie Cue is Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.
The filing goes on to state that Apple could bring iMessage to Android and other platforms way back in 2013. Additionally, despite Steve Jobs’ claims of FaceTime being an “open industry standard”, Apple never released it beyond iPhones, iPads and Macs.
Federighi is also quoted, testifying that, “it would be a horrible idea to make it easier for someone to switch away from our platforms by eliminating all of Apple’s differentiation.”