On Saturday, Android boss Hiroshi Lockheimer accused Apple of “utilizing peer stress and bullying as a solution to promote merchandise,” after a Wall Road Journal report revealed how US teenagers have turned Apple’s iMessage right into a social standing image that locks Android customers out.
Now, Lockheimer is taking a barely much less abrasive stance: the Google government mentioned Monday that “we’re not asking Apple to make iMessage accessible on Android. We’re asking Apple to assist the business normal for contemporary messaging (RCS) in iMessage, simply as they assist the older SMS / MMS requirements.”
We’re not asking Apple to make iMessage accessible on Android. We’re asking Apple to assist the business normal for contemporary messaging (RCS) in iMessage, simply as they assist the older SMS / MMS requirements.
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) January 10, 2022
“By not incorporating RCS, Apple is holding again the business and holding again the person expertise for not solely Android customers but additionally their very own clients,” provides Lockheimer, later within the Twitter thread.
That’s nonetheless an enormous accusation, however one which pulls the dialog again into acquainted territory: will Apple settle for Google’s olive department to make iMessage extra suitable with Android, or will it proceed to make use of lock-in to promote extra iPhones?
On the lock-in entrance, there’s little query about Apple’s motivation. Because of the Epic v. Apple trial, the world has now seen confidential emails between Apple executives that present the corporate is deliberately withholding iMessage in favor of lock-in. “I’m involved the iMessage on Android would merely serve to take away an impediment to iPhone households giving their youngsters Android telephones,” wrote Apple exec Craig Federighi in April 2013, including “I feel we have to get Android clients utilizing and depending on Apple merchandise.”
“Joz and I feel shifting iMessage to Android will damage us greater than assist us, this e mail illustrates why,” wrote Apple’s Phil Schiller in March 2016, forwarding an e mail from Beats Music co-founder Ian Rogers about how he “missed a ton of messages from family and friends” after switching to an Android cellphone.
What’s much less clear is whether or not RCS, the next-gen substitute for SMS that’s championed by Google and incorporates common options widespread to iMessage, has any convincing cause for Apple to signal on. That’s doubtless why Google is creating slightly peer stress of its personal.
The Verge has requested Apple if it intends to assist RCS actually years with no remark, so we’re not holding our breath. We’ve additionally made the ethical case that an organization that claims privateness is a human proper has an obligation to deliver encrypted messaging to the world, not simply its personal clients, and we’ve written about the non-public plight of coping with Apple’s inaction. (And after I say “we”, I imply Dieter, as a result of RCS is his jam, I’m penning this submit as a result of he’s on trip, and Dieter srsly why are you studying these phrases, aren’t you alleged to be on a socially distanced seaside someplace?)
However perhaps now that Apple is mainly a three-trillion greenback firm, and it’s beneath a great deal of regulatory scrutiny, and its soiled laundry (within the type of emails) has been aired in entrance of the world, and its staff are talking out, and items just like the WSJ’s are popping out, and its CEO Tim Cook dinner is probably going on the lookout for a legacy bigger than merely scaling up the corporate to turn out to be probably the most beneficial on the planet with a fats pay package deal because the reward… maybe bringing iMessage to Android or RCS to iMessage is the form of small concession that Apple may really make.
Correction, 7:48PM ET: Dieter informs me Apple did really reply to our requests for touch upon RCS. Their reply was “No remark.” I remorse the error.