Apple reportedly considered porting iMessage over to Android back in 2013.
According to filings in the Epic vs. Apple legal battle, the company wanted to bring iMessage to the rival smartphone operating system to boost adoption. Apple’s senior VP Eddy Cue was keen to make the transition, but others argued that it could go against Apple and stop parents from upgrading their kids to iPhones.
The company planned to make the iMessage port at the same time as Google planned to acquire WhatsApp.
In leaked communication logs, Cue was reported as saying: “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 responded to his comments, saying: “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.”
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