For several years there have been rumors about a possible deployment of the iMessage app on Android. In the end, Cupertino never took the plunge, but it might as well have been. This emerges from internal discussions between the market leaders of the Apple brand. This information was released as part of the lawsuit between the tech giant and Epic Games.
In 2013, Eddy Cue, currently Senior Vice President of Services and Software for the company, advocated the creation of a team to help roll out iMessage on Android. This desire takes place in a certain context, with rumors that Google wanted to acquire WhatsApp for a billion dollars at the time.
“We have the best messaging app and we 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. Some people have been researching this, but we should do everything we can to make it an official project. Do we want to lose one of the most important applications in a mobile environment to Google? They have free search, email, and video, and they’re growing fast in browsers. We have the best messaging app and we should make it the industry standard. I don’t know how we can monetize it, but it wouldn’t cost us much to make it work.
His interlocutor does not agree and explains:
Do you have any ideas on how we can make the move to iMessage attractive for Android users who don’t have many friends on iOS to change departments? We’d need a lot more than a slightly improved app. (…) Since there is no strategy for the majority of phone users to become the primary messaging service, I fear that iMessage on Android is just a way of depriving families with iPhones of the ability to switch their children to Android phones.
Eight years later, it’s no longer about offering iMessage on Android. However, this replacement could harm Apple. The Verge also mentions the possibility of using Epic Games as an example to try to demonstrate an abuse of the dominant position of the Apple brand in the mobile application market through the App Store.