Apple employees, including senior executives, have acknowledged that the introduction of iMessage to Android may affect iPhone sales.
The iMessage service is a major component of iOS and a major barrier that prevents users from switching the platform, which is why the service never appeared on Google’s mobile operating system.
This information comes according to testimonies and emails from Apple employees, including some executives, that were disclosed via Deposit In the lawsuit from Epic Games as part of its legal dispute with the iPhone manufacturer.
The dispute erupted last summer when Epic Games introduced its system for in-app purchases in Fortnite to circumvent Apple’s percentage, and Apple responded by removing the game from its app store, prompting Epic Games to file a lawsuit in response.
Epic Games’ argument revolves around Apple intentionally keeping customers within its hardware ecosystem, with iMessage being one of the main services that helps it do so.
Apple could facilitate the switch from iOS to Android by making iMessage widely available, but comments made by the company’s top executives indicate that this will never happen.
Epic Games is citing comments made by Apple’s vice president of Internet software and services (Eddy Q), Apple’s vice president of software engineering (Craig Federighi), and Apple’s colleague (Phil Schiller) to support its argument.
“Transferring iMessage to Android hurts us more than helps us,” Schiller said in an email. Federighi echoed Schiller’s comments, saying: Having iMessage via Android simply means removing the obstacle for iPhone families to give their kids Android phones.
Q. acknowledged that Apple could have made an iMessage for Android, but that provides users with easy compatibility.
Q said: Apple could have made an Android version that works with iOS, allowing for cross-compatibility with iOS so that users of both systems could easily exchange messages with each other.
According to the documents, Apple decided not to develop iMessage for Android as early as 2013, after launching its messaging service with iOS 5 in 2011.
It is reported that iMessage service is by no means the best messaging platform in the market, but given that it is the default choice on iPhones, iPads and Macs everywhere, it is what many people use to communicate.