An Android version of iMessage is never going to happen; this might seem obvious now but it wasn’t a given ten years ago. And thanks to the ongoing legal drama between Epic Games and the iPhone maker, we got to hear some pretty interesting insight on the matter from people directly involved into the decision not to port iMessage to Samsung Galaxy devices or any other part of the Android ecosystem.
The closest we’ve ever gotten to an Android port of iMessage was back in 2013, the year Apple decided not to entertain that idea any longer. If that outcome made you go “duh”, you might be surprised how much thought Apple has given to that possibility. At least according to its former employees interviewed and/or deposed by Epic legal counsel in preparation for the ongoing trial over App Store practices.
Can anyone force Apple to port iMessage to Android?
Eddy Cue, Apple SVP of Software and Services, is on record as stating that there are no technological barriers to porting iMessage to Android, having said as much in a recent deposition. Craig Federighi, the head of iOS, echoed that sentiment on a similar occasion, telling attorneys there are no long-term advantages to Android development from Apple’s point of view.
The lack of a unified messaging experience outside of Apple’s ecosystem is a significant “obstacle” to leaving it, Federighi acknowledged. And he wasted no breath pretending like that’s a problem Apple intends to even feign interest in, let alone solve it.
The more consolidated the smartphone industry gets, the more that stance makes sense. In that way, Epic is fighting a losing battle by trying to sue Apple into opening iOS to software vendors. Whether Samsung can learn something from the situation is debatable, but what’s not is that iMessage is never making its way to any Android device, Galaxy-branded or not.