Apple: iMessage on Android 'will hurt us more than help us'

Joe White

Posts: 69   +0
Staff
In context: Apple’s services purposefully lock consumers into the iPhone ecosystem, preventing them from making an easy switch from iOS to Android, and iMessage is among the top culprits for this. At least, that’s according to an Epic Games court filing, which cites information from several of Apple’s top-ranking executives.

While the Epic vs. Apple case centers on the App Store’s controversial 30-percent commission on in-app purchases, new filings published ahead of next month’s trial shed more light on some of the companies’ primary arguments against one another.

Epic argues that Apple purposefully designed its services to lock consumers into the iOS ecosystem, preventing them from easily leaving. While some services, like Apple Music, are available cross-platform, iMessage has long been Apple-only.

Epic’s filing alleges one unnamed former employee said in an email, “The #1 most difficult [reason] to leave the Apple universe app is iMessage ... iMessage amounts to serious lock-in.” Following the email, Apple’s Phil Schiller responded: “moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us, this email illustrates why.”

Meanwhile, Craig Federighi, senior VP of Software Engineering, is quoted in the filing as saying, “iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones.”

The filing also claims that as early as 2013, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue made the decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android, even though such a version was, in theory, possible.

As well as iMessage, Epic’s filing cites FaceTime as another example of an Apple lock-in service. Apple’s Tim Cook, Craig Federighi, and Phil Schiller, along with Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, are all expected to take to the stand next month when the trial begins. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Permalink to story.

 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,225   +5,927
Apple is the ultimate smartphone/ Tablet/ Smartwatch ecosystem.

They are best keeping their services to themselves.

Apple doesn't want Android to be anything like Android at all.

They would rather inconvenience potential buyers to switch to Apple to enjoy Apple services.
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,031   +1,524
TechSpot Elite
They're right - if Apple enabled Android to use iMessage, then Apple would take a good hit to their user base. Walk up to an iphone user and ask them the best part about their phone - the majority I've talked to, say the very first thing is iMessage.

It's not the iPhone that's keeping them, it's not a particularly stellar phone - it's iMessage, and their perceived struggle it would take to switch off of their iSuite. Android phones have a significantly richer experience and Apple knows this, and the fact that if they open up one of their services to the competition, it will most definitely hurt them.

That being said - it's well within Apple's right to keep services internal to their ecosystem if they so desire, it's their platform. Pretty weak argument by Epic here.
 

HardReset

Posts: 1,240   +897
That being said - it's well within Apple's right to keep services internal to their ecosystem if they so desire, it's their platform. Pretty weak argument by Epic here.
Antitrust laws often disagree with company "rights". Epic has good point here since whole issue is about Apple not allowing in-app purchases directly from Epic.
So it's now a crime to develop successful software for only 1 platform? Since when?!?!!?

Does Microsoft then have to port Halo to Playstation? And Sony have to port God of War to XBOX?

Complete nonsense...
How about looking what this case is all about and then you may understand why Epic has good point here. also, iMessage is not software, it's service. Let me say it briefly:

Apple first locks users into iCrap and then disallow users to make in-app purchases from other ways than iCrap. Also iCrap takes 30% of everything sold.

Real life analogy: There is one shop on city. No-one is allowed to sell anything outside that shop. Shop takes 30% of anything sold in that shop. Problem?
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,031   +1,524
TechSpot Elite
Antitrust laws often disagree with company "rights". Epic has good point here since whole issue is about Apple not allowing in-app purchases directly from Epic.

How about looking what this case is all about and then you may understand why Epic has good point here. also, iMessage is not software, it's service. Let me say it briefly:

Apple first locks users into iCrap and then disallow users to make in-app purchases from other ways than iCrap. Also iCrap takes 30% of everything sold.

Real life analogy: There is one shop on city. No-one is allowed to sell anything outside that shop. Shop takes 30% of anything sold in that shop. Problem?

Analogy is inaccurate. You can choose to move out of this city quite easily, and your market opens; thus opening more shops. Assuming that you are "trapped" within the city, or iOS ecosystem is playing the victim card because you don't personally agree with fees that you prior agreed to when you began using the service.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,504   +2,910
TechSpot Elite
Sure, they don't need to develop their apps onto other platforms, but the fact that they don't is just plain anti-consumer at this point (especially since there's no technical reason why they couldn't). All about the little bit more money they can scrape up over convenience.

Just another reason why I won't give Apple my money. I'm sure if their popularity started to plummet, iMessage would magically end up on Android lol
 

HardReset

Posts: 1,240   +897
Analogy is inaccurate. You can choose to move out of this city quite easily, and your market opens; thus opening more shops. Assuming that you are "trapped" within the city, or iOS ecosystem is playing the victim card because you don't personally agree with fees that you prior agreed to when you began using the service.
Not everyone can "just move out of city". Those who cannot are pretty much trapped with one shop.

Problem is that iCrap and Android has around 100% market share of smartphone operating systems. You want to sell something on smartphone, you basically have two choices. "Agreeing" is not that voluntary.

Microsoft had around 99% market share on PC operating systems and was bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. Unsurprisingly it went not so good from Microsoft's view even consumers had other choices and consumers "agreed" to get Internet Explorer when they bought Windows...

Anti-consumer laws exists for reason.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 4,151   +3,330
Not everyone can "just move out of city". Those who cannot are pretty much trapped with one shop.

Problem is that iCrap and Android has around 100% market share of smartphone operating systems. You want to sell something on smartphone, you basically have two choices. "Agreeing" is not that voluntary.

Microsoft had around 99% market share on PC operating systems and was bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. Unsurprisingly it went not so good from Microsoft's view even consumers had other choices and consumers "agreed" to get Internet Explorer when they bought Windows...

Anti-consumer laws exists for reason.
How are you not able to "move out" of Apple? It's NOT a city... it's a device you CHOSE to buy!

By your logic, I should be suing MS because I can't install Windows on a Mac...

And it's not so easy to simply "develop software for another platform"... you need to devote manpower and resources into it... then you need to support it... And why on Earth would Apple support something on an OS they don't control?
 

OneSpeed

Posts: 436   +232
How are you not able to "move out" of Apple? It's NOT a city... it's a device you CHOSE to buy!

By your logic, I should be suing MS because I can't install Windows on a Mac...

And it's not so easy to simply "develop software for another platform"... you need to devote manpower and resources into it... then you need to support it... And why on Earth would Apple support something on an OS they don't control?
Have you not heard of virtual desktops? Try Parallels for Mac, it'll run MS windows on your Mac. Manpower and resources solved!
 

sreams

Posts: 179   +294
I was an iPhone user for many years. Owned three iPhones. After I switched, there were many, many messages that I missed from friends of mine with iPhones. It appeared that Apple was intercepting those messages and sending them on to me as iMessages. Which will obviously never make it to an Android phone. So this is absolutely a real and serious issue.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,717   +1,322
Absolutely no one is forced to use iOS. Apple emphatically does not have a monopoly. Epic are only trying to convince a judge that they do so they don’t have to pay the fees to them for selling their products in the marketplace.

 

Hexic

Posts: 1,031   +1,524
TechSpot Elite
Absolutely no one is forced to use iOS. Apple emphatically does not have a monopoly. Epic are only trying to convince a judge that they do so they don’t have to pay the fees to them for selling their products in the marketplace.

1. Epic willingly and knowingly breaks Apple's ToS
2. Apple says "don't do that, you know the rule book"
3. Epic does it anyways
4. Apple removes Epic from iOS store as a consequence of ToS violation
5. Epic then claims Apple has monopolistic practices, limiting competition from those like Epic who refuse to adhere to policies that have been there for many years; and are throwing a fit in any way because they got called out for actively breaking policies.

Man, the timeline is clear. And until Epic began trying to play shortcuts with the world's largest mobile walled garden, everything was just fine.

And I don't even like Apple.
 

HardReset

Posts: 1,240   +897
Absolutely no one is forced to use iOS. Apple emphatically does not have a monopoly. Epic are only trying to convince a judge that they do so they don’t have to pay the fees to them for selling their products in the marketplace.
Correction: Don't need to pay fees for Apple while selling their products themself.
1. Epic willingly and knowingly breaks Apple's ToS
2. Apple says "don't do that, you know the rule book"
3. Epic does it anyways
4. Apple removes Epic from iOS store as a consequence of ToS violation
5. Epic then claims Apple has monopolistic practices, limiting competition from those like Epic who refuse to adhere to policies that have been there for many years; and are throwing a fit in any way because they got called out for actively breaking policies.

Man, the timeline is clear. And until Epic began trying to play shortcuts with the world's largest mobile walled garden, everything was just fine.

And I don't even like Apple.
You do understand not all things on ToS are necessarily legal? And that's what Epic wants court to decide.

Why everything is not fine even if Epic was allowed to do what they wanted? About only thing that would have happened if Apple just have accepted Epic's proposal? Less money for Apple.

Why less money for Apple is so bad thing? For other than Apple fanboys, it isn't.
 

dnous

Posts: 39   +40
That's a rather odd statement, one of Apple's key selling points is their eco system. So expanding certain features to other platforms for the sake of just "expanding" has little to no value at all to Apple imo.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 12,936   +6,266
So expanding certain features to other platforms for the sake of just "expanding" has little to no value at all to Apple imo.
And in the meantime continuing to bias consumers such as myself against them. So no matter which way they choose Apple is shooting themselves in the foot.

If Apple wins this. It will be because they used your money to continue screwing you over as their consumer. And then have the audacity to tell you its just business. And being the weak minded gullible society we are. We will stand there and say "AH OK, that makes sense".
 
Last edited:

CommonSenseTech

Posts: 103   +94
I’m a former Windows Phone user and find the flexibility in interpretation of “openness and competition” to be rather amusing.

WP failed in large part because Google leveraged its dominant position in search and web services to make WP break regularly. Gmail and Calendar was always getting broken; YouTube on the browser didn’t work and when Microsoft did their own YouTube app, Google had an enraged meltdown and broke it immediately. Google Search delivered inferior results and was often tweaked in ways that simply broke the Edge browser.

There was no graceful degradation (unlike iMessage going to MMS or SMS when iMessage isn’t available on the other phone) — Google simply modified its services to break on WP on a regular basis, knowing that most users would ditch WP for Android to keep their services working.

Now the shoe is on the other foot, and the same folks from Googleville who insisted that Google had a right to block and break Windows Phone access to Gmail and YouTube are claiming they’ve got some sort of right to force Apple to make iMessage for Android. The endless complaining about Apple is literally the opposite of the arguments they used to defend Google’s anticompetitive behavior with Windows Phone.

Unfortunately, Google set the precedent here. If Google can use TOS, frequent updates and other tactics to preserve Android’s 90% global smartphone share from competition from a small player like Microsoft, it’s hard to see why Apple should not be able to do the same to protect its 10% global smartphone share against the Android monopoly.
 
Last edited:

CommonSenseTech

Posts: 103   +94
That's a rather odd statement, one of Apple's key selling points is their eco system. So expanding certain features to other platforms for the sake of just "expanding" has little to no value at all to Apple imo.
Not only is that absolutely nailing Apple’s position, but Google and its supporters used the same argument when Microsoft complained of the lack of availability of Google services for Windows Phone. And Google back then claimed to be all about openness... something Apple has NEVER claimed.

So YouTube is “open but not THAT open” when it comes to Microsoft, but Android has the “right” to access a service Apple designed exclusively for its own hardware and which has never existed on a non-Apple product. A bit of a head scratching rationale from Epic and from Google folks.