Following the, far more subtle, dig at Apple in early October 2021 Hiroshi Lockeimer has given Apple both barrels. Taking aim at its now documented “lock-in” strategy, questioning the morals of using Apple customers against users of competitors products.

Unsurprisingly, the tweet was met with mixed reactions ranging from users returning fire to outright tantrums (We don’t want your kind on our platform), even a few constructive comments. While this wasn’t really a surprise, it did prompt Lockheimers to follow up a couple of days later with some points of clarification:

If you’re looking for a TL:DR version of that thread then here it is:

  • Google don’t want iMessage on Android, they want Apple to adopt a universal standard ie. RCS
  • The messaging mess (iMessage, Google Messages, WhatsApp, Messenger, Signal, Telegram etc) can, in part, be resolved by incorporating RCS to both major platforms
  • RCS can provide both sides with a more secure messaging option between Android and iOS users
  • Lockheimer stated: By not incorporating RCS, Apple is holding back the industry and holding back the user experience for not only Android users but also their own customers
  • Google is willing to engage with Apple to make this happen

There’s a lot to digest there and there’s no question that the blue bubbles are a “flex” in certain circles. So from a business standpoint, opening messaging to Android may hurt Apple. It — As Lockheimer stated — has the potential to improve messaging for everyone.

What would you do if you were in a position to take action at Apple?

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LU99KE

I am a shell of my former self. After my 10 glorious years in the Android world, I recently moved to an iPhone just so I could keep my business on track. The frequency with which customer’s / staff could not send me photos or visa versa because they were on an iPhone and I was on my android just got too much. It was affecting my business…. I literally had no choice. And all because Apple will not adopt RCS as the fall-back standard. Then, all of my friends / family ( who of course run iPhones ) were… Read more »

Will

RCS is mandated as part of the 5G protocol by the GSMA, which both Google and Apple are a part of. Apple will need to adopt it as the replacement for SMS eventually, but will be intentionally holding out while they try to work out how to twist things in their favour.

Rod

Telcos need to ditch the antiquated sms protocol, and adopt RCS as the new standard. What’s so hard about that? 😂

JeniSkunk

What’s required to resolve this deliberate corpor-rat abuse of users, should be obvious to everyone.
Governments stepping in, and requiring all players to use the same standard. The obvious vehicle for a standard being rammed through and enforced, despite objections from the Rotten Fruit Co, is the EU.

Elvin

She answered that in her original message. lol

JeniSkunk

Federal level governments, Phil, it’s why I was thinking the EU would be a worthwhile vehicle for forcing such a change through, similar to what they did for USB C for device connector standards.

JeniSkunk

Agreed about small fry like the AU federal govt. If the small fry try to push through such a mandatory requirement, it’d be a piece meal screw up.
That’s why I was thinking of the EU to ram such a change through. They’ve a large enough market footprint to actually make such a change stick, irrespective of the whinging and whining of mobs like the Rotten Fruit Co.

Phillip Malone

So, just as a point, I think its important to note that Hiroshi isn’t calling for Apple to abandon iMessage and protocols it uses between iMessage clients, this is mearly calling to stop using SMS as the fallback method and instead use RCS.

As I argued on Twitter the other day, RCS would benefit both from Apple adopting it and from Apple contributing to the standard!

And unless Apple stop allowing SMS, there non-action on SMS is an issue for them and all users alike (Apple, Android and any other SMS Clients)!