Google accuses Apple of using ‘peer pressure and bullying’ for profit with iMessage feature

Google said Apple was taking advantage of peer pressure to use iMessage.

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  • Some young people feel social pressure to own iPhones because of the way messages appear, the WSJ reports.
  • Messages between iPhones using iMessage appear in blue but messages sent to iPhones from Android phones appear in green.
  • A Google executive accused Apple of using “peer pressure and bullying as a way to sell products.”
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Some young people feel social pressure to own iPhones so they have full access to Apple’s messaging service iMessage, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

When iPhone users exchange messages using iMessage they appear in blue bubbles, whereas messages sent to iPhones from users of Google’s Android mobile operating system appear in green.

Some young people said they feared being ostracised from social circles if they gave up their iPhones, according to The Journal’s report, which involved interviews with a dozen teens and college students, and was published Saturday.

Google Senior Vice President Hiroshi Lockheimer on Saturday hit out at Apple’s iMessage strategy. He said on Twitter: “Apple’s iMessage lock-in is a documented strategy. Using peer pressure and bullying as a way to sell products is disingenuous for a company that has humanity and equity as a core part of its marketing. The standards exist today to fix this.”

Apple did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on Lockheimer’s statement.

Google’s official Twitter account for Android on Saturday published a statement that said: “iMessage should not benefit from bullying. Texting should bring us together, and the solution exists. Let’s fix this as one industry.”

In a statement to The Journal, Apple said: “We know that Apple users appreciate having access to innovative features like iCloud synching across all their Apple devices, Tapback and Memoji, as well as industry-leading privacy and security with end-to-end encryption — all of which make iMessage unique.”

Internal Apple emails dating back to 2016, released last year during Apple’s legal battle with Fortnite-maker Epic Games, revealed that the company considered making iMessage available to Android users, but decided against it.

In an email to CEO Tim Cook, a marketing executive argued that bringing iMessage to Android phones would remove an incentive for “iPhone families giving their kids Android phones.”

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