Last night Tim Cook dismissed the possibility of solving the green bubble problem – and he revealed the real reason why Apple wouldn’t: it doesn’t sell iPhones.
At Vox Media’s Code conference, an attendee told Cook that it was difficult for him to send videos to his mother because Apple devices don’t support RCS, the texting protocol championed by Google and supported. supported by the main telephone operators. Cook, in response, suggested to the participant buy her mom an iphone. “I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy into it at this point,” Cook said.
This appears to be the first time that Cook has publicly addressed RCS, the Rich Communications Services protocol. RCS is a major improvement over SMS and MMS, allowing you to do things like send better quality photos and videos, and it would solve many of the problems you encounter when texting between Apple and Android devices. But Apple has so far refrained from offering support, and the distinction between iMessage’s blue bubbles and regular text messages’ green bubbles has remained a thorn in Google’s side.
Apple deliberately chose to make a superior texting experience through iMessage something exclusive to Apple — and Cook’s comments on Wednesday are testament to that choice. For years, this has been a key part of Apple’s strategy to lock users into its platforms. Revealed emails as part of Epic Games vs. Apple showed senior executives like Craig Federighi (in 2013) and Phil Schiller (in 2016) arguing that introducing iMessage to Android would not benefit Apple. Swirl tail testified in a deposition that Apple could have created an Android version of iMessage compatible with iOS, but which obviously has not been made public.
By making iMessage an Apple-exclusive product — and continuing to improve it with features such as the ability to edit and unsend messages — Apple may argue that the best way to message your friends is on an Apple device using Apple’s Mail app. While the company could theoretically adopt RCS and Keep iMessage on Apple devices, it benefits by creating as much separation as possible between text messaging on Apple and Android. This means more people will buy more iPhones.
Google has campaigned in recent months for Apple to adopt RCS. Google implemented it in Android, of course, and it’s also now supported by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon (after a very slow rollout). And since all three have committed To make Google’s Android messaging app the default SMS for the Android phones they sell, it’s much more likely that people are just texting through RCS without thinking about it.
Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer led the charge, joking that there is a “really clear solution” to messaging difficulties and say that Apple ‘retains’ customers who send text messages. The company also recently launched a website, “Receive the message,” try shaming apple for adopting RCS.
Lockheimer understands Apple’s resistance to RCS, “but people should be able to send high-quality videos and photos to their mom without having to buy her a new phone.” he said. Cook, it seems, disagrees.