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The reason Apple never released the iMessage app for Android

Android mobile users were hopeful that at some point we could have a native version of iMessage, Apple’s mobile messaging application, for our devices.

And until that moment could come, various third-party solutions have emerged to bring iMessage to Android, although they are far from perfect solutions, where in fact they are not viable for those who do not have Mac computers.

Now we have known the official version for which Apple has not wanted to bring iMessage to Android. Basically, according to senior managers and company workers, this would have led Apple to migrate users from iPhone devices to Android devices.

The decision was made in 2013, two years after the official launch, initially arriving for iOS 5, arriving a year later for the Mac OS X desktop platform.

Trying to retain users within Apple’s own ecosystem

This is reflected in the statements and in emails included in the documentation presented today by Epic Games in its legal battle against Apple, coming from Apple employees and senior executives, thus showing that iMessage is one of the key services with the ones that Apple withholds users to its ecosystem.

For a good example of this, is the response of the senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, included in the documentation presented by Epic:

IMessage on Android will simply serve to delete [un] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones

The most curious thing in this matter, according to the answer of Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of software and Internet services, before Epic’s lawyers, is that Apple …:

I could have made an Android version that works with iOS (so that) users of both platforms could exchange messages without problems.

But in addition to iMessage, FaceTime is another of the services with which Apple retains users in its ecosystem, despite Steve Jobs already declaring at WWDC 2010 that it will become an industry standard, although today never became part of a non-Apple device.

The complete presentation is now available to anyone interested.

The alternative to iMessage by Google is the RCS enriched messaging, which to this day it is also not known whether Apple will adopt this standard in its applications. Incidentally, Epic Games also maintains an open antitrust lawsuit against Google.