Apple knows that iMessage’s blue bubbles are a major barrier to people switching to Android, which is why the service has never appeared on Google’s mobile operating system. It is in accordance with provisions and emails from Apple employees, including some senior executives, revealed in a court of Epic Games as part of its legal dispute with the iPhone maker.
Epic claims that Apple is deliberately trying to lock customers into their ecosystem of devices, and that iMessage is one of the key services that helps it do so. 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 the argument.
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IMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] barrier for iPhone families giving their children Android phones, ”was Federighi’s concern, according to Epic archives. Although the solution to using iMessage on Android has 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 that users of both platforms would have been able to exchange messages with each other seamlessly. “Obviously, such a version was never developed.
Along with iMessage, Epic cites a number of other Apple services that they claim help lock in. In particular, these video chat services include FaceTime, which Steve Jobs announced would be an open industry standard back at WWDC 2010. FaceTime was then released across iPhones, iPads and Macs, but it is not officially available for devices other than Apple.