iMessage on Android would be a ‘throwaway’ product, Apple says

(Pocket-lint) – Waiting for Apple to bring iMessage to Android seems like a fool’s game at this point, with the company saying it would be a “throwaway” product.

The chances of Apple bringing iMessage to Android were already slim, but they now seem to be almost zero. That’s after the company’s senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi spoke about the subject during the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live event yesterday. During that event, he was asked about the prospect of giving Android users some blue bubble love. His response was pretty clear.

“If we’re going to enter a market and go down the road of building an application, we have to be in it in a way that’s going to make a difference”, Federighi said when discussing the possibility of Apple building an iMessage app for Android. He added that it would need to be used by a lot of customers and have a great experience.


If it didn’t, Federighi noted that the time spent on iMessages on Android would have been wasted. “If we just shipped an app that really didn’t get critical mass on other platforms, what it would have accomplished is it would have held us back in innovating in all the ways we want to innovate,” he said. He then went on to say that the idea of iMessage on Android was a “throwaway” one, adding that it “was not going to serve the world.” That might be something Android users with iPhone-toting friends would disagree with, however.

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Apple’s refusal to bring iMessage to Android has long been a bone of contention, as has Apple’s refusal to add RCS support to the Messages app on iPhones.

In reality, Apple knows that iMessage serves as a lock-in feature for iPhone buyers — something Federighi he himself admitted in a 2013 email when he admitted he was “concerned iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to ‌iPhone‌ families giving their kids Android phones”.

Writing by Oliver Haslam.

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