Apple kept iMessage off Android to lock users in to iOS

Posted:
in iOS edited April 9
Further details from the Epic Games court filings cite Apple executives saying they could have made an Android version of iMessage, but it would "hurt us more than help us."

Apple Messages
Apple Messages


Included in Epic Games's "Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law" court submission ahead of its trial with Apple, is a series of claims that Apple deliberately locks users into its ecosystem. Quoting executives Eddy Cue, Phil Schiller, and Craig Federighi, the "Fortnite" developer says Apple intended to prevent users switching to Android.

"[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."

According to Epic Games, both Federighi and Schiller blocked the creation of an Android version of iMessage. "[Moving] iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us," Schiller is reported to have said.

Epic also quotes a 2016 email from a former Apple employee. Saying "the #1 most difficult [reason] to leave the Apple universe app is iMessage," the ex-employee added that "iMessage amounts to serious lock-in."

Epic Games's court submissions concentrate on establishing that Apple's curation of the App Store, and subsequent rejection of certain apps, is a business decision rather than a security one.

Despite the claims in Epic's filings, Apple has previously been reported to be considering iMessage on Android, and also tried to create a more universal standard. Following a debunked 2016 rumor that Apple was developing an Android app, reports circulated that the company had at least genuinely made mockups for internal discussion.

Separately, Scott Forstall revealed in 2018 that Apple had originally wanted iMessage to be a more universal standard. Without specifying when the discussions took place, he said that Apple had talked at length with carriers.

"We approached the carriers to pursue adding features to the existing texting systems and removing the additional customer costs," he said. "For various reasons, from the difficulty of extending the existing standards, to challenges with interoperability between texting systems and carriers, to the desire of carriers to protect a significant revenue stream, these explorations didn't pan out."


Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod. Say, "Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider," and you'll get latest AppleInsider Podcast. Or ask your HomePod mini for "AppleInsider Daily" instead and you'll hear a fast update direct from our news team. And, if you're interested in Apple-centric home automation, say "Hey, Siri, play HomeKit Insider," and you'll be listening to our newest specialized podcast in moments.
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 97
    revenantrevenant Posts: 616member
    there was little chance I was going to jump ship.

    magman1979killroydysamoriawatto_cobratmayjahbladen2itivguy
  • Reply 2 of 97
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 765member
    So a former employee claims Apple was trying to keep a competitive advantage? That’s shocking. Not.

    I don’t understand why Epic thinks Apple had any obligation to do anything differently. 
    williamlondongeorgie01tjwolfchaickaBeatsdewmelkruppmagman1979fotoformatviclauyyc
  • Reply 3 of 97
    ppietrappietra Posts: 247member
    Is this suppose to show any thing??? I mean, isn’t Apple supposed to build advantages for its own platform, to make its users come back?
    iMessage being exclusive doesn’t even prevent people to message across platforms, nor does it prevent people to export old messages.
    pichaelioniclepujones1williamlondongeorgie01tjwolfchaickaBeatsArszyflydog
  • Reply 4 of 97
    pujones1pujones1 Posts: 217member
    ppietra said:
    Is this suppose to show any thing??? I mean, isn’t Apple supposed to build advantages for its own platform, to make its users come back?
    iMessage being exclusive doesn’t even prevent people to message across platforms, nor does it prevent people to export old messages.
    Totally agree with you. No company is obligated to develop for any other platform nor should they be. 

    I’m not locked, manipulated or mind controlled into Apple’s ecosystem. I like the experience and the fact that everything works together. I like the security and privacy practices. I like the way they push out updates to so many products years after they aren’t new and that the products still can run smoothly. The ecosystem is simply better than anything else out there. 

    Screw Epic. They only want money from Apple users by hook or crook. It’s funny how these companies and some developers think that Apple should bow to their wishes for a platform they built and spent billions developing and maintaining. Greed plain and simple. Everyone knows that Apple fans spend money. Lol. 

    They can do a store within a store thing and pay 2.5 billion a year for Apple allowing them to do it. 
    edited April 9 williamlondonmike1chaickaBeatsdewmeArszymagman1979Gabyviclauyyckillroy
  • Reply 5 of 97
    kkqd1337kkqd1337 Posts: 337member
    i disagree

    i dont think there is anything very special about iMessage, i frankly dont think its very good at all.

    but in saying that I hardly use it aside from some personal messages

    i have a large work contact base on mixed platforms so i am forced to almost exclusively use WhatsApp, because thats where the users are, and its a good app to be fair, in fact i would say a lot better than iMessage

    (discounting privacy concerns, but I honestly dont trust apple any more than I do facebook and i think those that believe apples privacy PR are really quite naive)
    williamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamralphiemariowinco
  • Reply 6 of 97
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,677member
    williamh said:
    So a former employee claims Apple was trying to keep a competitive advantage? That’s shocking. Not.

    I don’t understand why Epic thinks Apple had any obligation to do anything differently. 
    As Apple (and others) are put under the digital age microscope, it is these scenarios that take on more significance.

    Where is the line between 'competitive advantage' and 'anti-competitive advantage'.


    Over the coming months and years we will surely find out and I wouldn't be at all surprised if platform providers are forced to provide a 'key' to their 'locks'. 

    Perhaps not necessarily in the form of forced cross platform use but in the form of a way to export everything in a way that can be imported into alternative systems. 




    edited April 9 gatorguy
  • Reply 7 of 97
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,783member
    Well, duh! And not even relevant to Epic.
    hammeroftruthBeatskillroymaximarawatto_cobran2itivguy
  • Reply 8 of 97
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,628member
    Interesting that Apple even considered building iMessage for Android, but yeah, as others have said, it's their prerogative whether they do or not, and I've no idea why Epic think it's relevant.
    chaickakillroyfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 97
    thedbathedba Posts: 567member
    avon b7 said:
    williamh said:
    So a former employee claims Apple was trying to keep a competitive advantage? That’s shocking. Not.

    I don’t understand why Epic thinks Apple had any obligation to do anything differently. 
    As Apple (and others) are put inder the digital age microscope, it is these scenarios that take on more significance.

    Where is the line between 'competitive advantage' and 'anti-competitive advantage'.


    Over the coming months and years we will surely find out and I wouldn't be at all surprised if platform providers are forced to provide a 'key' to their 'locks'. 

    Perhaps not necessarily in the form of forced cross platform use but in the form of a way to export everything in a way that can be imported into alternative systems. 




    Disagree with that because if we were to follow that logic, then Epic Games should be forced to port their games over to the Mac. And not some cheap feature reduced version of their games, because that would offer an  anti-competitive advantage to Apple's competitors.
    hammeroftruthBeatsradarthekatroundaboutnowmagman1979killroybaconstangchiaericthehalfbeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 97
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,826member
    cpsro said:
    Well, duh! And not even relevant to Epic.
    I think Epic is painting the backdrop at this point before turning on the key and kicker lights.

    Personally I'm not encouraged they'll capture a compelling image, but there's always the possibility of surprises. 
    edited April 9 muthuk_vanalingamkillroyrevenant
  • Reply 11 of 97
    fahlmanfahlman Posts: 723member
    Apple is under no obligation to release Messages for Android.

    Hypocrites.
    https://www.gamewatcher.com/news/Epic-games-store-exclusives

    Opps Double post.
    edited April 9 hammeroftruthBeatsmagman1979watto_cobran2itivguyrevenant
  • Reply 12 of 97
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 377member
    A deliberate attempt to spin something totally normal as if it was evil.

    People who care about the products they develop will protect their work. Why would Apple port something they perceive as valuable to a competitor’s product if it won’t help their own business in some way? Altruism may be a reason, but if every business was judged by their altruistic output then nearly every one would fall short to some degree, most certainly including Epic.
    chaickaforegoneconclusionmagman1979randominternetpersonpscooter63killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 97
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,677member
    thedba said:
    avon b7 said:
    williamh said:
    So a former employee claims Apple was trying to keep a competitive advantage? That’s shocking. Not.

    I don’t understand why Epic thinks Apple had any obligation to do anything differently. 
    As Apple (and others) are put inder the digital age microscope, it is these scenarios that take on more significance.

    Where is the line between 'competitive advantage' and 'anti-competitive advantage'.


    Over the coming months and years we will surely find out and I wouldn't be at all surprised if platform providers are forced to provide a 'key' to their 'locks'. 

    Perhaps not necessarily in the form of forced cross platform use but in the form of a way to export everything in a way that can be imported into alternative systems. 




    Disagree with that because if we were to follow that logic, then Epic Games should be forced to port their games over to the Mac. And not some cheap feature reduced version of their games, because that would offer an  anti-competitive advantage to Apple's competitors.
    As I said, this will be resolved at a higher level and for everybody.

    It depends on where lines are drawn.

    For example, are games used as a 'lock in' or simply as an incentive?

    Are games and communication in the same category? 
  • Reply 14 of 97
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,628member
    avon b7 said:
    thedba said:
    avon b7 said:
    williamh said:
    So a former employee claims Apple was trying to keep a competitive advantage? That’s shocking. Not.

    I don’t understand why Epic thinks Apple had any obligation to do anything differently. 
    As Apple (and others) are put inder the digital age microscope, it is these scenarios that take on more significance.

    Where is the line between 'competitive advantage' and 'anti-competitive advantage'.


    Over the coming months and years we will surely find out and I wouldn't be at all surprised if platform providers are forced to provide a 'key' to their 'locks'. 

    Perhaps not necessarily in the form of forced cross platform use but in the form of a way to export everything in a way that can be imported into alternative systems. 
    Disagree with that because if we were to follow that logic, then Epic Games should be forced to port their games over to the Mac. And not some cheap feature reduced version of their games, because that would offer an  anti-competitive advantage to Apple's competitors.
    As I said, this will be resolved at a higher level and for everybody.

    It depends on where lines are drawn.

    For example, are games used as a 'lock in' or simply as an incentive?

    Are games and communication in the same category? 
    Huh?  What games?  Apple don't make any significant games.

    Of course games and communication aren't in the same category, the categories are games and communication.

    Having a lot of trouble understanding your angle here.  There's no sense in saying Apple behaved anti-competitively by not delivering iMessage for Android, that's an insane standard to set.

    You might be able to say that they behaved anti-competitively by bundling iMessage with iOS, but the victim there would be competitive messaging apps, not Android.  And since iOS is far from a monopoly it doesn't really stick; companies can behave anti-competitively perfectly legally, it's only when they abuse power in some way that it (arguably) becomes a regulatory matter.
    Beatsfastasleepchiawatto_cobran2itivguy
  • Reply 15 of 97
    So Apple is the bad guy for choosing not to develop for other platforms? Wow! If only there were options that worked on both platforms! Oh, wait, isn’t there a WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and others? Hmmm…
    I just wish Epic would keel over and stop bothering the rest of us with their childish wailing.
    edited April 9 chaickahammeroftruthBeatsmagman1979killroybaconstangchiawatto_cobratmay
  • Reply 16 of 97
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,489member
    This is just smoke. They're trying to deflect attention from the facts because they know they have a weak case.
    edited April 9 chaickahammeroftruthBeatsmagman1979pscooter63killroyGeorgeBMacchiaericthehalfbeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 97
    shaminoshamino Posts: 465member
    So Epic is claiming that if you develop a popular app for your own platform, you have some legal obligation to port it to your competitor's platforms?  And give it away for free?

    Well that cuts both ways.  Why can't I buy Fortnite for Linux?  How about for my Raspberry Pi?  Or my SGI Indy workstation?

    If they don't immediately do this right now, then they are being anti-competitive and need to be punished to the full extent of the law.
    chaickahammeroftruthBeatsmagman1979killroyGeorgeBMacchiawatto_cobratmay
  • Reply 18 of 97
    cloudguycloudguy Posts: 323member
    Why is this a headline? I thought it was:

    A. common knowledge

    and

    B. standard business practice

    Before people say "but Google" ... when did YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps etc. get released on Windows Phone again? Or even in the Windows Store so that they can be installed on Microsoft's various attempts to compete with ChromeOS (Windows Education, Windows 10S and soon Windows 10X)? Microsoft fans to this day grumble that Google's refusing to release Windows Mobile apps for their services killed any chance that it had to survive. (What they leave out was that Microsoft's locking out Google services from their mobile platforms is what caused Google to create Android in the first place. A decision that Microsoft surely regrets to this day.)
    hammeroftruthBeatsgatorguyn2itivguy
  • Reply 19 of 97
    ppietrappietra Posts: 247member
    avon b7 said:
    williamh said:
    So a former employee claims Apple was trying to keep a competitive advantage? That’s shocking. Not.

    I don’t understand why Epic thinks Apple had any obligation to do anything differently. 
    As Apple (and others) are put under the digital age microscope, it is these scenarios that take on more significance.

    Where is the line between 'competitive advantage' and 'anti-competitive advantage'.


    Over the coming months and years we will surely find out and I wouldn't be at all surprised if platform providers are forced to provide a 'key' to their 'locks'. 

    Perhaps not necessarily in the form of forced cross platform use but in the form of a way to export everything in a way that can be imported into alternative systems. 




    I wonder if all Android variations will be able to guarantee exporting to the iPhone!!! If not, why should Apple (the minority platform) be obliged?
    edited April 9 BeatskillroyGeorgeBMacwatto_cobratmayjahblade
  • Reply 20 of 97
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 800member
    I am not a gamer but have a question:
    Does Epic develop all of its games for the Macintosh? Do they develop ANY games for the Mac?

    Apple has a platform that allows them to sell and install 3rd party SW. 

    Case closed.
    hammeroftruthmagman1979killroyBeatsmaximarawatto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.