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One executive at Apple apparently wanted iMessage on Android in 2013

Others at Apple were very much against the idea.

imessage convo between apple and android
Image: KnowTechie

If you are an iPhone user that uses iMessage to text friends and family, you’ve almost certainly noticed the infamous green text bubble that indicates the person you are talking to is on a non-Apple device. It has been the fodder of memes for years.

Well, apparently, at one point, at least one executive at Apple pushed to make iMessage an available service on more mobile devices, including Android. Eddy Cue was that executive and this new information comes to light during the Epic vs Apple lawsuit.

According to The Verge, an email exchange between Cue and Craig Federighi happened in 2013, after Google had tried to buy the massively popular WhatsApp for $1 billion. The Verge compiled some of the emails together, and we’ll share that below:

Cue: We really need to bring iMessage to Android. I have had a couple of people investigating this but we should go full speed and make this an official project…. Do we want to lose one of the most important apps in a mobile environment to Google? They have search, mail, free video, and growing quickly in browsers. We have the best messaging app and we should make it the industry standard. I don’t know what ways we can monetize it but it doesn’t cost us a lot to run.

Federighi: Do you have any thoughts on how we would make switching to iMessage (from WhatsApp) compelling to masses of Android users who don’t have a bunch of iOS friends? iMessage is a nice app/service, but to get users to switch social networks we’d need more than a marginally better app. (This is why Google is willing to pay $1 billion — for the network, not for the app.)…In the absence of a strategy to become the primary messaging service for [the] bulk of cell phone users, I am concerned [that] iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove an obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones.

Essentially, Epic bringing this to the court case is intended to show that Apple is using its market power illegally, by making it so users don’t have a choice. This is especially relevant in that last line from Federighi, “[…] would simply serve to remove an obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones.”

This new information builds on previous emails and reports about Apple policies that Epic believes should be wrangled in by the court. It looks like this battle between Epic Games and Apple is still heating up.

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