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Why Apple doesn’t want iMessage on Android phones

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(Image credit: Apple Inc)
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If you were dreaming of the day that iMessage would come to Android, you might have to keep sleeping, as recently revealed information shows that it’s unlikely to ever happen. Top Apple executives supposedly shot the idea down in its infancy over fears that people would leave iPhones for its competitors.

The new details were revealed by Epic Games in a document (opens in new tab) that forms a larger part of its court battle against Apple in the US. In it, the then SVP of Internet Software and Services at Apple, Eddy Cue, argued that iMessage could have released cross-platform in 2013, however other executives allegedly fought against the idea as iMessage is “the #1 most difficult [reason] to leave the Apple universe.”

As part of a plan to reinstate Fortnite on Apple devices, Epic is producing evidence like this to convince Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers that Apple is a company that misuses its dominant position like a monopoly. However, winning in court isn’t Epic’s only strategy as campaigns like #FreeFortnite and this iMessage information are likely attempts to swing public opinion in its favor too.

Could Apple change its mind?  

It’s hard to tell if Apple will change its stance over iMessage anytime in the future. If there is significant public backlash against this news we could see the tech giant budge, but most likely Android fans - who probably wouldn’t have bought an iPhone anyway - will be the only people upset by it.

However, even then, there is now some precedent for iPhone exclusive apps appearing in the Google Play Store. In 2015 Apple launched Apple Music - its Spotify-like subscription service - on Android after many years of iTunes being exclusive.

The difference here though is that Apple Music is a paid subscription, whereas iMessage would probably have to be free like the iPhone version.

For now, we’ll have to wait and see what Apple does next, though it might be time to move on from wishing for iMessage on Android. It looks like it’ll never happen.

Via Android Police (opens in new tab)

Hamish Hector
Hamish Hector

Hamish is a Staff Writer for TechRadar (@Hamish_Hector (opens in new tab) on Twitter) and has been writing about tech for almost five years. He now lends his experience to cover news and reviews across everything on TechRadar (from Computing to Audio to Gaming and the rest). In his free time, you’ll likely find Hamish humming show tunes while building Lego or playing D&D with his mates.