Apple executive explains why iMessage isn’t on other platforms

By , Jun 16, 2016

iOS 10 Messages teaser 001

In a broad reflective piece on Apple’s WWDC keynote, noted tech journalist Walt Mossberg made some interesting comments regarding a recent rumor that Apple was considering bringing its iMessage service to Android. Turns out that isn’t happening, and won’t be in the near future.

Speaking to a “senior Apple executive,” Mossberg says Apple is happy with the 1 billion+ active devices it currently caters to, so it doesn’t feel an immediate need to grow its user base by expanding to other platforms. It also still considers its iMessage service a major iOS-exclusive feature.

When I asked a senior Apple executive why iMessage wasn’t being expanded to other platforms, he gave two answers. First, he said, Apple considers its own user base of 1 billion active devices to provide a large enough data set for any possible AI learning the company is working on. And, second, having a superior messaging platform that only worked on Apple devices would help sales of those devices — the company’s classic (and successful) rationale for years.

Apple has significantly upped the ante for competing messaging services with iMessage in iOS 10. It’s adding a number of new features including better emoji, colorful effects and animations, and support for apps so you can make payments and order food without leaving the Messages app.

Source: The Verge

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  • TwinSon

    Makes sense.

  • onesimpleclik

    “Apple considers its own user base of 1 billion active devices to provide a large enough data set for any possible AI learning the company is working on”,

    What data are they talking about? iMessages??

    • rafaelpz

      “If You’re Not Paying for It; You’re the Product”

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        We’re paying for it indirectly, by purchasing these +600€ devices. iMessage is one of those byproducts that pays for itself or rather helps cover the cost of the device you own from Apple.

    • Rowan09

      They are going to monetize iMessage and opening up to Devs is the beginning

    • Phil Randle

      Machine learning, differential privacy. There has been quite a few articles on it & how Apple can get the data it needs without knowing the person it’s from.

  • Jay Burgandy

    Makes sense, Blackberry phone sales finally dropped when they have BBM for iOS and Android devices.!

    • Benedict

      No. Dropped years before and for other reasons. Releasing BBM for other platforms was just the last try.

  • 5723alex .

    Bring iMessage to Android for $4.99.

    • The King

      Like Apple Music on Android?

      Buggy and horrible – no thanks. If I want iMessage, I’ll get an iPhone again.

  • zoLa siWisa

    Thank Apple… I happy you hear my cry… Let’s get this data part cleared out???

  • Quilliv


  • Mr_Coldharbour

    Makes total and complete sense, and I agree. This is Apple’s competitive advantage, giving potential customers reason to switch over to iOS / OS X, and locking current users in.

    • The King

      Exactly. Apple should keep iMessage as is. Personally, I don’t see it any different from a normal text message anymore since a lot of our phones can send text messages via WiFi and data only. But the option, I guess, is nice.

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        Apple should forever keep iMessage and FaceTime in-house and proprietary.

      • The King

        As an Android user, I agree. Apple shouldn’t move away from devices. iMessage and FaceTime from Mac to iOS device is just a killer use of both devices and a great selling point.

    • Benedict

      I can’t see any reason to switch or stay on iOS because of iMessage. What is a reasonable difference toward e.g. an Android messenger. This argument ist too exaggerated. People have other preferences when buying or using a phone.

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        For one thing, it’s encrypted end-to-end and has been for many years. The end-user has the keys and comms can’t be decrypted remotely.

      • Benedict

        Other messengers do the same.

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        Name one besides iMessage, Signal and Threema.

      • Benedict

        Thanks for mentioning already two alternatives. You answered yourself.
        to name some more: Beem, ChatSecure, Chiffry, Kontalk and of course Bleep.
        Besides that iMessage is not proved to be secure because the encrypting is proprietary and can’t be verified. Moreover it only uses a 128-Bit encryption.

      • Mr_Coldharbour

        You just said that it’s proprietary, which is correct, and can’t be verified, so how would you know it only uses 128-Bit encryption rather than 256-Bit?

  • igorsky

    Answer number #2 has been obvious, to everyone outside of blog complainers, for many years.

  • zebonaut

    there is always that one stubborn family member who doesn’t get an iPhone and is on Android.No iMessage. Less efficient communication with them.

  • Benedict

    Where does this 1 Billion active devices come from? How many does Android have in contrast?