Update: Apple has been forced to deny rumors and make a statement to Buzzfeed clarifying that they are not developing an iPhone to Android switching tool. "There is no truth to this rumor,” according to Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller. “We are entirely focused on switching users from Android to iPhone, and that is going great."
For 95 percent of smartphone owners, the operating system on their device will either be Android or iOS. And anyone who wants to move from one OS to the other may find that transferring all their files, contacts, photos, and music such as hassle that they’ll decide not to bother. Last year, however, Apple made the process of moving from Android to its OS a lot easier with the Move to iOS app. Now, possibly due to pressure from European telecoms operators, the company has agreed to develop a similar app that easily transfers iOS user data to Android, according to the Telegraph.
European telcos are reportedly concerned that so few people ever move away from iPhones, partly because of the technical problems that come with transferring data from iOS to Android. The iPhone’s popularity means that operators are heavily dependent on Apple’s products, and they fear that the lack of switching weakens their hand in commercial negotiations with the Cupertino company.
It’s not clear if any of the telecoms operators has made a specific complaint against Apple, or if the company thought making this app would be in its best interests; Apple has previously faced allegations of anti-competitive business practices in Europe and doubtlessly wants to avoid any further charges of unfairness.
Apple’s never been a company that’s wanted to make leaving its ecosystem easy. In a 2010 email outlining his itinerary for his company's annual Top 100 meeting, then-CEO Steve Jobs wrote that he wanted to "Tie all of our products together, so we further lock customers into our ecosystem."
Apple has not commented on whether it is working on the app.