For several years, rumors have come to us about a possible deployment of the iMessage app on Android. In the end, the Cupertino company never took the plunge, but it could just as well have been the case. This is what emerges from internal discussions between the leaders of the Apple brand. This information was made public in the context of the lawsuit between the tech giant and Epic Games.
In 2013, Eddy Cue, current senior vice president of services and software for the company, advocated for the establishment of a team that would support the arrival of iMessage on Android. This desire takes place in a particular context, with rumors that Google then wanted to acquire WhatsApp for a billion dollars.
“We have the best messaging app and should make it the industry standard”
In an email exchange with Craig Federighi, the company’s current vice president of software engineering, Eddy Cue argues:
We really need to integrate iMessage on Android. A few people have investigated this, but we should go full blast and make it an official project… Do we want to lose one of the most important applications in a mobile environment to Google? They have search, mail, video for free, and grow fast in browsers. We have the best messaging app and should be making it the industry standard. I don’t know how we can monetize it, but it wouldn’t cost us a lot to make it work.
His interlocutor does not agree and explains:
Do you have any ideas on how we would make the switch to iMessage attractive for Android users who don’t have many friends on iOS to switch departments? We would need a lot more than a slightly improved app. (…) In the absence of a strategy to become the primary messaging service for a majority of phone users, I am concerned that iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove a barrier for families with iPhone to switch their kids to Android phones.
Eight years later, it is no longer a question of offering iMessage on Android today. However, this exchange could harm Apple. The Verge also mentions the possibility of seeing Epic Games take this case as an example to try to demonstrate an abuse of the dominant position of the Apple brand in the mobile applications market via the App Store.