For years, people have wanted Apple to release an iMessage app for Android users. It’s the biggest tie-in to the Apple ecosystem after all, and it’s a primary reason why so many people never switch from iPhone to Android.
And that’s exactly how Apple wants to keep it, as the company has confirmed in documents it filed while in the midst of a trial with developer Epic Games (via 9to5Mac). In far-too-simplified terms, part of the lawsuit is Epic accusing Apple of ecosystem lock-in that doesn’t let anyone compete fairly. The papers Apple is filing feature quotes from the company’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, and Apple Fellow, Phil Schiller, both of whom thwart off the idea of iMessage on Android.
While Schiller says having iMessage available on Android “will hurt [Apple] more than help [Apple],” Federighi is much more descriptive, essentially confirming everyone’s suspicion that it would give people an excuse to buy an Android phone, something the company doesn’t want.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering and the executive in charge of iOS, feared that “iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones” […]
Schiller commented that “moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us.”
With quotes like these, it’s clear that Apple doesn’t ever intend to release an iMessage app for Android. People have argued that simply charging a monthly subscription fee could help offset the lost Apple device sales, Apple clearly wants to milk out as much money as possible from its customers, hence not opting for a cross-platform solution for one of its most valuable features.