The legal conflict between Epic Games and Apple has already had a fairly significant fallout. Public law has already pressured Apple and Google to reduce the market fee for developers on the App Store and Play Store, and a number of Apple’s pranks have fallen under the control of politicians and the general public. Now a new court filing from Epic Games opens the box with worms that are iMessage exclusivity.
It’s no secret that Apple maintains a number of proprietary products and services to prevent users from jumping on competing platforms, but few have been as successful as iMessage. In preparation for the trial, which began on May 3, Epic Games submitted a concise issue demonstrating that Apple̵
The interrogation line in the sales is aimed at demonstrating Apple’s use of platform lock-in to create a monopoly that keeps users dependent on the App Store and the In-App Payment system, which came under fire when Epic launched a version of Fortnite as Apple’s skirt payment systems.
58. Apple has recognized the power of iMessage to attract and retain users within its ecosystem.
one. As early as 2013, Apple decided not to develop a version of iMessage for Android OS. (Cue Dep. 92: 22-93: 1.)
b. Mr. Cue testified that Apple “could have created a version on Android that worked with iOS” so that it “would have been cross-compatible with the iOS platform so that users of both platforms would have been able to exchange messages with seamlessly. ”(Cue Dep. 92: 5-9; 92: 11-16.)
c. However, Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering and CEO of iOS, feared that “iMessage on Android would only serve to remove [an] barrier for iPhone families giving their children Android phones ”. (PX407, at ‘122.)
d. Phil Schiller, Apple Manager in charge of the App Store, agreed that Apple should not offer iMessage on Android devices. (Cue Dep. 92: 18-93: 1.)
e. In 2016, when a former Apple employee commented that “the # 1 most difficult [reason] to leave the Apple universe app is iMessage. . . iMessage represents serious lock-in “to the Apple ecosystem, Mr. Schiller commented that” moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us, this email illustrates why “. (PX416, at ‘610; Cue Dep. 114: 14-115: 2.)
The statements cite Eddy Cue (SVP for Internet software and services) who acknowledges that Apple was able to develop a version of iMessage for Android as early as 2013. However, Craig Federighi (SVP for software engineering) and Phil Schiller (SVP for worldwide marketing) ) concerns that it would harm the company if it made software available that removes an obstacle for people who might otherwise want to use Android. A further comment from another Apple employee emphasizes that iMessage is the biggest factor in keeping people in Apple’s ecosystem and refers to it as “serious lock-in.”
Of course, there is no technical limitation that prevents Apple from developing iMessage for Android, and most people already assume that this has been a strategic decision. Apple has never commented on whether they plan to build a version of iMessage for Android, but with these statements in the open, it is easy to understand why there has been radio silence on the subject. It does not look good to the public, and it may help Epic Games bring its case of unfair business practices to developers, but the practice is not illegal and is unlikely to attract the attention of regulators – which means Apple is likely to stay the course. In other words, don’t expect iMessage to officially hit Android anytime soon.