The Apple v. Epic Games lawsuit is revealing some intriguing details. Recent court documents have shed light on the fact that Apple sees the availability of iMessage solely on its own devices as a key factor in keeping users locked into the Apple ecosystem.
As part of the ongoing legal battle, Epic Games lawyers have had the opportunity to question Apple’s lawyers about a variety of topics, including iMessage.
According to Apple’s Eddy Cue’s deposition, the Cupertino-based company decided not to bring iMessage to the Android platform as early as 2013. That was only two years after iMessage debuted on the iOS platform and about a year after it added support for macOS – or Mac OS X as it was known at the time.
As one might expect, several Apple executives, including Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller, have been outspoken in their opposition to the existence of an Android app for iMessage. According to Federighi, having an iMessage app on Android would “merely serve to remove [an] impediment to iPhone families giving their children Android phones.” Phil Schiller, one of Apple’s most well-known executives and the company’s public face, stated in an email that “moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us.”
Many third-party attempts have been made to bridge the gap in the absence of an official iMessage for Android solution. Most, if not all, of those solutions required complex workarounds or the installation of additional hardware to act as a proxy.
An official Apple solution would eliminate the need for those solutions, but it’s safe to say that we’ll never see that implemented.