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Why there's no iMessage for Android

iMessage Lasers
iMessage Lasers (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

I wrote the editorial below almost four years ago, shortly after Facebook bought WhatsApp for close to 20 billion dollars and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) finally went cross-platform when there was nobody left to care. Juxtaposed against the value of the one and the tragedy of the other, many questioned Apple's decision to keep iMessage locked on Apple devices.

Last year, just before WWDC 2016, rumors of iMessage for Android picked up again. Apple launching Beats for Android probably gave a lot of people a lot of ideas about what other apps the company could take cross-platforms.

Now, Apple explores, mocks up, and even prototypes anything and everything any of us could think of, as long as it makes enough sense. You don't get to a "thousand nos for every yes" without trying a thousand and one ideas. So, if Apple hadn't knocked around the idea of iMessage for Android, there'd be cause to worry. I'd be startled if no one in Eddy Cue's org had ever spit-balled Maps for Android and iTunes for Android.

Anything that's an internet service is ripe for just that kind of thinking, even if Apple's current position in the market makes all of them a no-go. (And for different reasons — Music on Android makes sense where Maps does not.)

The trick is to have all of these ideas at least partially on the drawing board so that if and when things change, and you need to move, you can move as quickly as possible.

For every iTunes for Windows, Safari for Windows, and iPad mini that was opposed, even temporarily derailed, but ultimately shipped, there are countless more still sitting on the shelves, real or virtual.

The same is true today, with iMessage sync giving some faint hope that Messages for iCloud could be a thing. And sure it could, just like Mail for iCloud and Photos for iCloud are things.

But Apple isn't just syncing iMessages. Apple is syncing iMessages through the secure, end-to-end encrypted version of CloudKit that sits in darkly mirrored parallel to iCloud. The same one the company is using to sync face and Siri data between devices. And that means Apple is placing the security of the messages first, not the convenience of accessing them.

In other words, there's still no reason to expect Messages for iCloud until you see it.

iMessage is Apple's text and media messaging service, bundled into the Messages app on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac. And that's where the platform support ends. There's no iMessage for Android or for Windows, and unlike Apple's Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and iWork, there's not even an iMessage for iCloud. Yet Facebook bought WhatsApp — which started as a cross-platform BlackBerry Messenger clone — for billions of dollars, and BlackBerry, which kept BBM proprietary until it was far too late, is now worth next to nothing. So, why is iMessage still Apple-only?

If your friends, colleagues, and family all use Apple devices, a few glitches aside, iMessage is close to perfect. If your friends, colleagues, and family aren't all in the Apple ecosystem then iMessage falls back on SMS/MMS. Not everyone wants to use — or pay for — carrier text and multimedia messaging service, however, so that's where cross-platform IM like WhatsApp in much of the western world and WeChat and Line in Asia come in.

If Apple released iMessage for Android — and perhaps others platforms, including for iCloud on the web — then iPhone and iPad owners could both stay in Messages.app, and stay connected to their cross-platform contacts. Apple could also potentially gain a messaging user base as big as anyone else. At a time when messaging itself is becoming a platform, and Apple is turning iMessage into a platform, keeping it proprietary is a triple-edge sword.

BlackBerry's missed BBM boat

BlackBerry was once in a similar situation. Evolving from the pager, they grew to support email first, then BBM. By 2006 they were an incredibly popular handset manufacturer with an incredibly popular messaging service attached to their platform. And those two things, their handset popularity and their messaging popularity, were inextricably linked. Anyone who wanted a high power job, and anyone who wanted to be with someone who had a high power job, needed to be on BBM.

By 2010, however BlackBerry's handsets had fallen behind iPhone and Android. There was talk of BlackBerry taking BBM cross-platform but nothing ever came of it. They were seemingly afraid that if they let their messaging system go, their customers would go with it. It wasn't apparent to them at all that their messaging business could surpass their handset business.

That BlackBerry as a company could be valued at around $5 billion and WhatsApp, a cross-platform clone of BBM, would one day go for $16 billion. So BlackBerry waited. They waited until many of their customers had moved on and only then did they take BBM cross-platform. And instead of a position of strength and dominance, they find themselves fighting to survive.

  • Vector 31: Facebook, WhatsApp, BBM, and the value of mobile messaging

But Apple now isn't BlackBerry then.

Products vs. businesses

Apple doesn't mistake their products for their business. Instead of protecting the iPod and the Mac, Apple pushed ahead with iPhone and iPad. Now, as digital music sales have tanked and PC sales have slowed, Apple is more successful than ever. That's because Apple's business was never iPods and Macs, it was personal computing devices. They try very, very hard to obsolete themselves before someone else can obsolete them.

Facebook has proven themselves to be similar. Facebook's business isn't Facebook. It's attention. Facebook is just a product. Rather than obsoleting themselves the way Apple does, however, they buy companies that appear to be on a path towards obsoleting them. Hence Instagram and now WhatsApp. Facebook doesn't care about people using Instagram or WhatsApp instead of Facebook any more than Apple cares about someone using an iPhone or iPad instead of an iPod or Mac. They just care that they're using Facebook products.

BlackBerry, on the other hand, thought handsets were their business — and they were wrong. Handsets were just their product. Attention was their business as well. Namely the attention their phenomenal communication experience gave them. Security, physical keyboards, blinking notification lights, and the handsets themselves only contributed to the delivery of those communications to get and keep that attention, be it pages and email in the early days or BBM after it was developed.

Apple isn't in the attention business. Apple is not the compelling scene through the window. Apple is the window. Apple doesn't much care what scene you're looking at through the window, as long as it's Apple's window you're looking through. And that's a very different dynamic.

Secrets to success

To stay successful, BlackBerry had to make sure they kept their customer attention. Facebook likewise. Apple does not. To stay successful Apple has to make sure the devices through which people give their attention have Apple logos on them, regardless of where that attention is going.

Part of doing that is ensuring that iPhones and iPads provide a base-level of functionality right out of the box. The other part is making sure the iPhone and iPad remain the absolute best gateway to the internet and to apps beyond what they come with in the box.

iMessage is there to make sure anyone with an iPhone or iPad can easily keep in contact with the people they care about. Phenomenal HTML5 support and killer Cocoa frameworks are there to make sure any developer can easily and delightfully launch any other messaging app imaginable on the App Store. Which is exactly what they've done.

So where's iMessage for Android or for iCloud?

Apple has traditionally been a far better hardware and software company than they've been a services company. Not only wouldn't cross-platform iMessage play to their strengths, it would further burden their resources.

As much as you or I or many other people might like iMessage to go cross-platform, to be able to use Messages.app to chat with our Android and Windows and other friends, colleagues, and family, to use it on any device or on the web, Apple doesn't need it to.

Because iMessage's only major reason for being is to increase the overall value of Apple's actual business: personal computing devices, and because every other service has gone cross-platform for iPhone and iPad, often first and best, it's not only not a current problem for Apple, it's an ongoing element of their success.

If and when iMessage as a platform becomes more valuable than iOS as a platform, Apple will need to think very hard about pulling the Android or iCloud switch. Then, if they wait too long... well, see BlackBerry.

Originally published February 02, 2014. Updated June 4, 2016, for iMessage for Android rumors. Updated December 8, 2016, for Messages for iCloud hopes and dreams.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

114 Comments
  • I don't believe that iMessage will make it out of Apple's ecosystem. That's is something that is closely tied to Apple products. Really, I know people who bought iDevices just for iMessage. It shouldn't be a problem right now with Apple because so many people have their devices. I would love to see it come to Android, but I doubt that will happen.... Nexus 5... enough said
  • As a Nexus 5 owner, iMessage is one of the few things I miss.
  • I am a New Android user, and I would like to know one thing, well I would certainly like to more than one bit of information, but for the sake of brevity-one thing. All of these years I have sent iMessages out to my Android buddies but it seems that about one-third of the time a message was delivered to them, the rest showed undelivered. Now, I have always known Apple possessed a cool proprietary messaging system (iMessage) that has been the messaging system the others hope to grow up to be some day, but all of the praise aside I am confounded that some messages make it to their intended Android target and some do not... Can someone help me understand what these software-hardware gyrations are that create such inconsistency? i do not require a M.I.T. post-graduate level Computer Science in Engineering style explanation as you can likely tell. What is going on with that? (MMS,SMS-MESS)
  • The text messaging issue is with Android OS. not a particular phone maker on the android side.
    I have been an iPhone user starting with the 3G, 3GS, all the way thru to the 7.
    I also went to android and tried SO many phones;
    S4, S6, S6 Edge, Note 2,3,4,5, Moto X, Moto X (5.2") (2015?), LG Optimus Pro, LG G3, G4, Sony (can't remember the number), Droid Eris, Droid Turbo, HTC (can't remember the number, the one with the terrible U.P. camera)
    That said, I have tried MANY android phones. Texting is absolutely Terrible on android.
    The texts send twice sometimes ( to other android users AND iOS users) sometimes, the text just doesn't send at all. Picture messages are 4X worse than regular texts. a straight 10% of my picts wouldn't send to android or iOS.
    Sometimes the pic would just get lost in the "coverting to MMS" action and say File not compatible or some junk like that.
    Messaging on Android is flawed at its core on Android 4 and above. it was still terrible as of 6.1 (haven't tried 7)
    My iPhone over the years may have glitched 3 times in 10 years time. Android glitched 3 times a day for me on EVERY single android phone I ever owned.
  • I don't see it happening either, although there is hundreds of millions of non-idevice users out there. I honestly believe bottom line that apple just doesn't care. What I mean is that they are not dying RIM/Blackberry who needed to make a move to stay relevant. Apple is at the top of their game right now, making money hand over fist. They do not need to lure customers in through a free messenger service to stay relevant as they are doing just fine as is. Nor are they hurting for money what so ever like RIM needs. I don't think a lot of people believed that RIM would open their ecosystem either, but I believe that the only reason this happened was that they reached a point of desperation to try to stay relevant in mobile. Apple isn't in that position and I don't see them opening their ecosystem to other devices anytime soon. I do wish Apple would make an iMessage app for Windows though like on Mac you could log into as use iMessage. Jailbroken RemoteMessages works well but a native solution is always better.
  • I agree that Apple doesn't have to add iMessage to Android. But they should consider adding PC capability. It would be very useful to use iMessage while at work. Same for iTunes Radio, open it up to the web.
  • Why they will put something great in a shitty OS? I like they keep it this way.. When you are with WP or Android you are wondering what App to download to send msg-s to people from other countries, to other carriers if your plan doesn't include free text msg-s to all carriers.. For people with iDevices this is not a problem. And if someone of your friends is with Android or WP you can always download viber or what's app.. But this is your choice, others have to use them.. And with iPhone 6 more and more people will jump to Apple... So this is great :-)
  • Dude your fanboyism is definitely glowing. Some people always find an excuse to bash other mobile Operating systems... Nexus 5... enough said
  • Fanboyism? I have Note 3 and iPhone 5S.. Some people are here just for a number.. I see how my iOS is running, and how Note 3 with KitKat... Still some lags, app drops and 1000 more problems.. I am not Fan Boy, I just live in reality..
  • " I am not Fan Boy, " Wrong
  • Not a fanboy? 1000 more problems? Seriously? Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • The nexus 5 is smoother , more fluid than any iPhone I have a 5s and had previous iphones . I wouldn't take a Samsung if it were free. Don't bash Android it's great as is iOS Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • I also agree with you pure android is great and even me as an iPhone lover would make me want it. If I had to get an android phone it would definitely be a nexus 5 I can't stand all of the samsung crap and just samsung in general.
  • Too bad the nexus 5 battery life was one of the worst I've ever seen. Sent from the iMore App
  • I have used a nexus 5 and you are completely delusional.
    The nexus 5 is slow, the camera app takes 3 days to launch And takes terrible pictures.
    I use both operating systems. (and have a windows phone) and I can tell you, no android phone is as smooth as an iPhone.
    iPhone 5S is OLD. upgrade to a 7 and try again.
  • That comment was made over two years ago, lol Sent from the iMore App
  • Yea not a fan boy alright Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Fucking idiots more like it.
    Never fails one has to start and like a fungus it starts one by one.
  • Oi… Request: disable comments. Fanboy accusations = belittling and discrediting based on disagreements from Android Fanboy Haters.
  • I agree, nothing matches iOS's fluidity and speed even though they're on 2+ gigs of ram and 2+ ghz!
  • Lol. KitKat...
  • Who says android is another mobile Operating system?!! ROFLAMO
  • Um...you do realize that both Android and Windows Phone both have messaging fallbacks in place also. Not necessarily the same as iMessage, but there nonetheless. Windows Phone has Facebook messaging built directly into their default messaging app. And seeing as Facebook is a pretty big service...that's nothing to sneeze at. For Android, Hangouts (formerly Google Talk) is preloaded on every Android device. And with KitKat, Hangouts is the default messaging app. Again, it's there. So yeah. Seeing as iOS users STILL download these other messaging apps in droves, the situation you provided (with WP and Android you're wondering what app to download to send msg-s to people from other countries) is still valid for them also. Especially seeing as iOS is not the dominant OS. So please do not push your experience as a universal experience as it is only a localized experience for you. Thanks.
  • What would be cool is if ios integrated facebook messaging straight into their text message app.
  • As soon as you said "****** OS" you proved your fanboyism when not understanding that everyone likes different things. Even you ofc, but maybe the use of more mature words and sentences would help people better understand what you mean...
  • I find iMessage to be one of the worst services Apple currently offers. I can get a message on my iPhone and maybe 10 minutes later it'll appear on my iPad and/or OS X devices. The inability to actually notify me of a message on all devices at or near the same time is incredibly annoying. I may not always be near the device that gets dinged first and I'll be waiting, and waiting and waiting for it to come across on the device I'm actually at and using. Before they even consider, if they ever actually do, bringing it to another platform, they seriously need to fix the issues they already have with the one platform they're already on.
  • That never happens to me. I get every message on all my devices within a couple seconds. Maybe you're the exception. Sent from the iMore App
  • I wish I was, because it could probably be easily fixed on my end then, but I know several people who have this issue. And I promise I'm not grandstanding either, I seriously know several who experience the same issue.
  • That's an ongoing complaint on these tech sites. The inconsistency with imessage on multiple devices. Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • There's something that tries to figure out where you are and what you're using and ping that device first, but it sometimes seems to mess up and then it's annoying. Hopefully they'll keep working on fixing all that.
  • I certainly hope they do. I understand that they're making a service for hundreds of millions of people and it isn't always going to work for everyone. I'm sure I'm in the minority, but statistics don't mean squat when it comes to those who are actually affected. I've actually talked to a friend who has suffered from this issue too and we were both really hoping Apple would have snapped up WhatsApp or a similar service because we've never had this issue with WhatsApp. But alas it was not meant to be. Here's hoping the issue gets fixed sooner rather than later :-)
  • But whatsapp can only be used on your phone, and so that's probably why you have never had a problem with messages arriving out of sync...
  • Think for a moment. And this is not a dig at you, but if it is taking 10 mins there is something wrong with your network and not the devices. You have something out of sync. You have made a VALID point however as to why Apple doesn't and won't play with the other kids in the pool. It is tough enough to keep your own side of the street clean let alone everyone else's.
  • I can appreciate what you're saying and I certainly won't discount anything. With that being said, I don't believe this is the issue, at least not every time. A lot of times my iPhone and iPad aren't connected to my home network because LTE is faster, so I'll have WiFi off to get the best throughput and my Mac mini will get a message first while I'm laying in bed watching some Netflix or whatever. That becomes frustrating because I'm waiting for it to come through and then end up having to get up to see the message and even after reading it there, I'm still waiting for it to come through on one of the other devices that isn't connected to my network. As a disclaimer, that isn't always true, that's just one example that I know has happened which makes me think it isn't my network. And with all of this being said, I am a huge fan of Apple and this is one small issue that is frustrating to me, so it isn't like I've got major issues that push me to another platform.
  • As someone who's also an Android user, I couldn't care less. Bring on more Hangouts users. At least Google is making an effort to provide people who use other devices, than just Nexus or Android, to have access to their services. I support that. For such an amazing and innovative company, this is such a crappy mentality (making something exclusive to its own platform).
  • Apple's business model is different from Google's. What works for one company does not necessarily work for the other. Google is in the business of providing online services in exchange for mining your data. Thus it's in Google's best interest to make their products available everywhere, for any platform, to increase their penetration. It doesn't matter if you use Google maps on safari for OSX or if you use an android phone, it only matters that you use google maps. Apple is in the business of selling you an appliance, if you will. They package their software into their hardware, and sell you an all-in-one package. They don't make much money if you don't buy their hardware. So as soon as you can explain how making iMessage available for android will increase iPhone sales, then you will have a compelling argument. Making services like iMessage available on competing platforms just dilutes the Apple brand and costs them money.
  • They don't sell the appliance without software to tell that hardware what its purpose is. And their software is amazing. You're right about it diluting the brand, but if their software/messaging service is that good, do you think they'd need to worry? And do you believe Apple isn't 'mining' your data too?
  • No, apple is not mining your data in the way the Google does. There was an article just this past week about how advertisers aren't satisfied with the amount of data they are getting from Apple and Amazon about their users. In either case, though, Apple makes it's money by selling you hardware. The software and the services are just their to further entice you.
  • Apple is certainly mining your data and your usage habits, and they explicitly reserve the right to do so - and to share it with third parties - on their privacy page. We know that they don't share demographic information with iAd buyers, anything else is speculation. That's a start, but, until they publicly affirm they will not do something, it makes more sense to assume any large company is doing exactly what their public policies claim. Sent from the iMore App
  • Yet they let you use windows to access iTunes? Posted via the Android iMore App!
  • Yes because at the time you needed a computer to get music on an iPod. And most people used Windows PCs. Once Apple made iTunes for Windows iPod sales took off.
  • yea, but you already bought the hardware. See the difference? There really was no way around it at the time. The main goal was to get the iPod (Apple's hardware and Apple's software) into everyone's hand, and if you had to use a windows computer (via Apple software of course) to do it, then so be it. But once you loaded your music, you didn't have to interact with windows at all to use your iPod.
  • "So where's iMessage for Android?" Right. I'm sure Apple will release iMessage for Android.
    Just about the same time they release FaceTime and Passbook for Android.
  • Doesn't all the major plans include unlimited call/text but NOT unlimited data? Thus, heavy iMessage usage would bring you closer to your cap whilst normal SMS would not? I like iMessage and all but sometimes SMS is just faster and more reliable... Sent from the iMore App
  • Depends on what country you live in.
  • "Doesn't all the major plans include unlimited call/text but NOT unlimited data?" There is a whole world outside USA and normally, SMS are not unlimited or free. And international SMS are not free
  • They're all free for me. Go Verizon! Lol! Who would have thought?!
  • iMessage is about connecting you to other Apple users. I'm sure noone wants iads and fees littering imessage. So how would imessage for everyone else pay off for Apple? Supposedly Apple doesn't mine your info, sell it, etc. If someone can put together how this is worth billions to Apple (without becoming facebook or google like in terms of privacy and ads), then let's hear it. It looks like a major cost to me. BBM's solution? Sell stickers.. And it's worth pointing out, just as MS Office isn't really Office on other platforms, neither would iMessage.
  • iMessage is several orders of magnitude less complex than Office, and what complexity exists is almost exclusively server side. Technically, there is no reason Apple could not do it. I agree financially it would be stupid. Technically simple or not, there is still a cost, and no real benefit to Apple. Anecdotally, several of my daughters friends switched from Android to iOS specifically because their team had almost all iPhones, and they used group messages. In my small circle, iMessage for Android would have been 3 lost sales right there. Sent from the iMore App
  • I think apple missed a trick by not buying and not going cross platform with skype. As apple would've worked wonders with the quality of it.
  • I agree that Skype quality was quite poor, but it has got so much better in the past month.
    Also, Skype is possibly the widest reaching cross platform messaging and communicating platform - Skype is the reason Apple needs to expand iMessage, not BBM or WhatsApp.
  • Hopefully the competition from skype will push apple to make an even better product, so everybody's a winner
  • I think this article is slightly missing the point and doesn't discuss issues like why, in places like Europe where unlimited and free text messages are also the norm like the USA, text messaging is in decline and apps like WhatsApp are so popular. I suspect the reason for this is that text messaging was originally part of GSM, the mobile phone standard used from the start in most countries outside the USA. In these countries, text messaging has been around since the early 90s - a lot longer than it has been around in the USA. Consequently, text messaging is viewed as 'old' in a lot of countries. In places like the UK, text message numbers actually dropped last year - because people are moving to apps like WhatsApp en masse. Part of the reason for this is because these apps allow you to do more than texts do (such as send 'stickers' and larger files), and they also have a social aspect to them. Texting is what 'old people' do. I think Steve Jobs used to like quoting Henry Ford when he said that if he'd asked the public what they wanted, they wouldn't have said a car - they would have asked for a faster horse. In this context, iMessage is the 'faster horse'. An attempt to streamline text messaging, when text messaging is already in decline in many countries. There would be no real point in launching iMessage for Android or other platforms - people in a lot of countries wouldn't see any use for it.
  • Old but still widely used otherwise why are third party messaging services like Whatsapp cashing in? Or wireless providers still charging ridiculous fees and limiting texting? Sent from the iMore App
  • What I'm trying to say here is that there is a distinction between old fashioned 'texting' (SMS) and 'Instant messaging' apps like WhatsApp. I don't think it's been helped by a lot of the American media (who don't really seem to understand WhatsApp) describing WhatsApp as a 'texting' or 'SMS' app. It isn't. It's an instant messaging app. The wider point is that old fashioned texting / SMS is in decline, and is considered 'old' in a lot of places. Instant messaging apps (like WhatsApp) are largely replacing SMS.
  • Is I messages not the same as in IM? we can see in real time that others are sending messages to us and vice versa.
  • You cannot "streamline" text messaging by introducing a protocol that is locked to one device (smartphone) type/brand. You do it by proliferating it across as many platforms as possible. That is why WhatsApp is #winning. They get it, Apple is not interested in streamlining anything. They are interested in locking in customers so that they can reap the rewards of their high hardware price margins.
  • Exactly how would making iMessage cross platform be profitable for Apple? What's the benefit to Apple?
  • what a crappy opinion/view of Apple you have.
  • New market share, penetration, exposure, advertising, revenue worldwide...
  • So Facebook paid lots of money for an IM and people are hyperventilating. FB is not sharing one orbit with Apple, or Google for that matter. Take a deep breath.
  • I'm more in-tune with the idea of iTunes being offered on other platforms. iMessage, eh.
  • It would be an interesting move, but I think Apple use iTunes as one of their tools to try and lock people into iOS .
  • I work for a wireless carrier and many people buy an iPhone just because of iMessage Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm guessing you're based in the USA. In other countries it isn't the case - people use WhatsApp and other similar apps instead, because they guarantee free messaging to whichever platform you're messaging to. That's why WhatsApp could command such a high price from Facebook.
  • I am from the US and currently live in the UK. I see more iPhones here than other smartphones. I don't understand your point. Whatsapp is avaiable on all the major OS's. It's not any different than installing Facebook Messenger on an iphone. iMessage is just another feature added to an iPhone. And whatsapp is only free for the first year. .99 after.
  • Lol. You know whats funny about this article.. this is exactly how people felt about BBM on bb when bb was riding high. Thats the great thing about hindsight.. it always seems to make sense except you didnt realise it before it all went wrong. Apple and BB of course have different straregies but then again.. before you know it things could turn out that what works today might not work tomorrow. Only then do you realise that.. hold on, we have loads of users that loved Imessage but are moving to other products so maybe now we should go cross platform. A lot of people actually used bb for its handsets i.e the keyboards and comms experience like push messaging, multi-tasking, battery life etc.. not just bbm. However, bbm is one of its strengths that is easily applied to other platforms. Apple should go cross platform now as a lot of people already only want iphones because of imessage and facetime like one of the posters above already said (his reason for staying with the iphone is due to imessage). BBM and others already do this (yes they are late but.. apple would be later) so if things go wrong with the handset buisiness.. we'll be watching the bb type saga all over again. No offence Rene but i do think you mostly only like to see the +ve of apple strategy because its your chosen brand. The truth is nobody cares and people would all flock to what is hot at the time and you can sure as hell be sure that apple products would not always be that product to get. You seem to have forgotten already that it was only a few years ago that Bill Gates bailed apple out and saved it from collapse. This is exactly why google and Microsoft have always and already ensure they have their apps on other platforms. It's not to hard to figure out. The world has already moved on from closed eco system thinking. Think android. Think BYOD. Act now. I for one am a blackberry10 user but use whatsapp, skype and gtalk and facebook messenger also even though its mostly bbm i use however, thanks to bb comms experience the hub makes them all one app so if imessage came along id gladly use it too as long as its integrated into the hub.like the rest.
  • Nah, I think you totally missed the point. This is how people felt about BBM when BlackBerry started to fail. No one was asking for X-platform BBM pre-iPhone. Even our friends at CrackBerry were begging for it come 2010. (Listen here: http://www.imore.com/vector-31-facebook-whatsapp-and-value-mobile-messaging). Unlike BBM, however, iMessage is not a powerful enough service that it could become Apple's primary business. If Apple's device business became obsoleted like BlackBerry's was, iMessage wouldn't save it no matter how early it went cross platform. Google has their apps on Windows Phone and BlackBerry 10? Or did I miss that? You're missing the bigger point, though: It's not about open or closed, it's about core business. Google's search code isn't open or cross-platform. Nor is their AdSense engine. Nor are their Google Play services. Every company is a blend of both. BlackBerry's Torch browser exists because of Apple's open source, cross-platform WebKit engine. None of that has anything to do with this. Attention/comms/messaging isn't and never has been Apple's business. It was BlackBerry's. It is Facebook's. That makes for a huge difference in strategy.
  • Nah mate. From my personal knowledge i can assure you that before bb began to "fail".. others wanted a bbm like experience thus you had the whatsapp's, the kik's and co step in and fill the void that bb refused to fill. Dunno about Canada or North America but here in europe.. UK especially that was the case. That is also why at some point bbm did work on some old nokia phone. It had nothing to do with Apple. The issue at the time though is bb was riding high and not interested in sharing what it saw as its competitive advantage. This competitive advantage is why it was so difficult for them to go cross platform. Even today, you still have those die hards that find it absurd and feel now that bbm is xplatform it spells the ultimate death of bb as we knew it. I beg to differ though. Also, yes you are right that google services are not currently on bb10 or windows but thats merely a business cost/case decision and it does make sense. Note however that all google services were on the older bb's until sales dropped to its current levels so its not like it cannot happen again if by some miracle things pick up for blackberry and windows phone. Google would provide its services to any platform that has enough of a customer base to justify the cost of developing for and supporting its apps. Google will even kill its own services on its platform if it feels there is not a substantial level of use as we all know. Today, the iphone and android devices have the user numbers so it only makes sense for it to do so. Having said all that.. despite what you may feel apples core business is the fact is its the hardware it offers in regards to the ipod, iphone and ipad is what got it where it is today. Truth is they do what they do in the ios way which people have grown to love but that innitial attraction was the physical look. Even today people are on to them mainly for how they look with the way they work being an added benefit. You even have those.. yourslef inclusive that wish ios borrowed certain aspects from the other os's i.e. synergy from WebOS while others long for the leds or messaging methodology from bb or the way android is configurable and can be modified to each individuals preference etc.. You have loads who buy macs cos they're everywhere then moan that they cant do things the way they did on windows. IMHO.. Apples core business is design (and yes i'm aware of itunes, icloud etc but thats just as a result of the way the tech world was going and they had to do it to keep people on their hardware thus.. all locked in) ..and should that begin to falter.. they need stuff out there thats cross platform to at least keep them relevant until their next big innovation. Just my 2 pence.
  • In the old world, company valuations were based on a multiple of revenue or free cash flow, while also factoring growth over time. But in the new world of social media, revenue is often something that will come later as the result of hyper growth while traditional valuation techniques don't apply.
    Because Facebook doesn't control a mobile platform itself (unlike Google with Android), and with its stock rising, Zuckerberg likely felt it had to make this move now to add fuel to its transition to the world of mobile computing. If Facebook didn't make this move, Google, which reportedly offered $10 billlion for WhatsApp, likely would have.
    Still, the fact is that we can’t know today whether or not this is a good deal for Facebook. Clearly Zuckerberg sees a big piece of Facebook’s future in WhatsApp, because he’s paying more than 10% of Facebook’s market cap for it, not to mention putting cofounder and CEO Jan Koum on its board.
    Perhaps it boils down to what Kara Swisher said: "Facebook Price for Having No Phone OS? $19 Billion. A Must-Have Apps Play? Priceless." :)
  • I'd presumed that it was to prevent spam!
  • I like iMessage just for iOS it allows me to know who has an iPhone and communicating with them is free. Unless the same option would be available for Android, I don't see the need. Great read! Ps.... Why are people still fighting over what phone a persons own. People have choices. That's android or IOS, it's there choice. No one has to like what you like. Sent from the iMore App
  • Thank you Nexus 5... enough said
  • Rene, please would you guys consider writing an article about Telegram. Due to the comments here last week, I installed it and personally I think it's pretty good. Reading their FAQ made me feel warm and safe ;) Sent from the iMore App
  • Unless Apple would fully commit to creating an iMessage app for Android capable of handling SMS and MMS, I don't want