Apple purposely hasn’t brought iMessage to Android in an effort to lock users in to iOS, court documents reveal
As part of its ongoing legal battle with Apple over the removal of Fortnite from the App Store last year, Epic Games has provided court filings that cite Apple executives dismissing the idea of bringing iMessage to Android in an effort to lock users to iOS.
The documents cite an unnamed former Apple employee who complained in 2016 that iMessage “amounts to serious lock-in,” which prompted Phil Schiller, Apple’s former senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing to respond by saying “Moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us,.”.
“[Apple] could have made a version on Android that worked with iOS,” Eddy Cue is quoted as saying. “[There could] 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.”
However, this idea was crushed by Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, who said “iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones”.
Federighi is also cited as saying it would be a “horrible idea” to make iMessage open to non-Apple devices, adding that it would “make it easier for someone to switch away from our platforms”.
Fortnite was pulled from the App Store in late 2020 after Epic Games added a new “direct payment” option to its app in an effort to evade the 30% commission Apple was taking from in-app purchases.
The ongoing legal battle has seen Epic Games work its hardest to convince the judges that Apple is the bad guy with a monopoly on users. Apple is defending itself by claiming Epic Games has brought the removal of their app from the App Store upon themselves by clearly breaking the policies it has as part of its developer terms and conditions.