Apple knows that iMessage’s blue bubbles are a big barrier for people switching to Android, which is why the service has never been shown on Google’s mobile operating system. That is according to deposits and emails from Apple employees, including some senior executives, revealed in a lawsuit filed by Epic Games as part of its legal dispute with the iPhone maker.
Epic claims that Apple is deliberately trying to lock customers in its ecosystem of devices, and that iMessage is one of the key services that helps it do that. It quotes comments from Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddie Cue, senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi and Apple Fellow Phil Schiller to support his argument.
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“IMessage on Android simply serves to remove [an] barrier for iPhone families giving their children Android phones, ”was Federighi’s concern, according to the Epic archive. Although solutions for using iMessage on Android have emerged over the years, none have been particularly practical or reliable.
According to Epic’s archive, citing Eddie Cue, Apple decided not to develop iMessage for Android as early as 2013 following the launch of the messaging service with iOS 5 in 2011. Cue admits that Apple “could have made a version on Android that worked with iOS ”, so“ users of both platforms would have been able to exchange messages with each other seamlessly. “Such a version was apparently never developed.
Along with iMessage, Epic cites a number of other Apple services that they claim contribute to lock-in. In particular, these include his video chat service FaceTime, which Steve Jobs announced would be an open industry standard back at WWDC 2010. FaceTime was subsequently released across iPhones, iPads and Macs, but it is not officially available for devices other than Apple .