The legal battle and conflict between Epic Games and Apple are not new. In a recent development, Epic Games has again filed a case against Apple, and this time it is about the exclusivity of iMessage. As early as 2013 Apple took the decision not to develop the iMessage for the Android OS. However, contesting claims that iMessage could have worked seamlessly with Android devices too.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering and the executive in charge of iOS, contended that “iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones”. However, legal battles against Apple on this ground only strengthened after that.
The trial begins on May 3rd and Epic Games will open their trial by demonstrating how the Cali-based tech giant made the intentional decision to limit iMessage to only Apple. Furthermore, Epic Games will use this vantage point to portray how by creating a platform lock-in Apple has successfully created a monopoly that keeps the users reliant completely on the App Store and In-App Payment system. Notably, the In-App Payment system came under scrutiny when Epic Games launched a version of Fortnite that bypasses Apple’s payment systems.
Moreover, Epic Games also point out that Eddy Sue had acknowledged that Apple was more than capable of developing a version of iMessage that will be suitable for Android uses. But Federighi and Phil Schiller (The SYV of Worldwide Marketing) featured that doing so would hurt the company, that is to say, iMessage has become one of the most important parts of the iOS ecosystem that does not let users migrate to using other messaging services; some people working at Apple has also termed iMessage as a “serious lock-in.”
It has been made clear over the years that developing an iMessage suitable for the Android OS is not an impossible task; Epic Games’ case on Apple only solidifies this position and brings Apple under public scrutiny over unfair business practices towards developers.