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Apple Senior VP wanted to bring iMessage to Android in 2013, was turned down by other executives

Eddy Cue, a name long associated with Apple, wanted to bring the company's exclusive messaging service to Android devices in 2013. The suggestion was ultimately turned down by the other executives.

twitter-logoSarthak Dogra | April 28, 2021 | Updated 11:59 IST
(Image: Unsplash/ Alexander Shatov)

Highlights

  • Eddy Cue suggested bringing Apple's iMessage to Android back in 2013.
  • The suggestion came in response to rumours of Google acquiring WhatsApp.
  • Other executives disagreed with the proposal and decided to keep iMessage exclusive to Apple instead.

Apple's decision to keep iMessage exclusive to Apple devices has long been questioned. Findings from the past now reveal that this would not have been the case if one of the top Apple executives had his way in 2013.

Long time Apple top executive Eddy Cue, who now serves as the senior vice president (SVP) of Internet Software and Services, wanted to bring iMessage to Android back in 2013. Cue wanted to go full throttle with the project and even suggested other Apple executives assign a dedicated team to the cause.

The information from the past was made public recently during the ongoing legal battle between Epic Games and Apple.

As cited in a report by The Verge, a court statement during the legal dispute highlighted an email exchange between Cue and Apple's SVP of software engineering, Craig Federighi. The emails talked about the possibility of extending the iMessage support to Android devices.

The conversation over the mails took place between April 7 and April 8, 2013. It was reportedly initiated after rumours arose of Google potentially acquiring WhatsApp for its Android OS.

"We really need to bring iMessage to Android," Cue wrote in one of the emails. "I have had a couple of people investigating this, but we should go full speed and make this an official project."

The proposal was ultimately turned down by other executives at the time for, you guessed it, keeping Apple users hooked on to Apple. Federighi cited an absence of a strategy for his disagreement with Cue's idea. He said that opening iMessage for Android users "in the absence of a strategy" will only remove an "obstacle to iPhone families" in giving their kids Android phones.

Other Apple executives, including former SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller, also disagreed with Cue. Cue's idea was ultimately shot down, and hence we do not have iMessage on devices other than Apple to date.

The line of questioning wanted to focus on Apple's anti-competitive practices, for which Epic Games are now blaming the company. The Fortnite developer says that Apple's charge of a 30 per cent fee from all app developers for portraying their apps on the Apple App Store is a monopoly in the market and should be done away with.

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