Google RCS Vs Apple iMessage: Should Apple Stop iMessage Lock-In Strategy?


Google and Apple have been jostling for years now with Android and iOS coming head-to-head in competition in the smartphone world. Now, both companies are voicing their differences with the messaging platforms. Google RCS and Apple iMessage duel is the epicenter of the new heated debate.


Google RCS or Apple iMessage

Google RCS or Apple iMessage

When it comes to smartphone standardization, a lot of people have to be on the same page. This includes developers, smartphone makers, and most importantly, the platform developer. Particularly, Google is aiming to make the RCS the next-gen messaging platform that could replace SMS.

RCS expands to Rich Communication Services

RCS expands to Rich Communication Services and brings in a communication protocol that allows sending messages between carriers and smartphones. Basically, it's an upgrade to the SMS feature. However, Apple isn't onboard to bringing in RCS to the iOS platform. In the latest turn of events, Google is calling out Apple for not accepting RCS.

This is because Apple is aiming to push its iMessage platform forward. Apple has no intention of bringing in support for RCS when it has the iMessage option. To note, iMessage is something that works between two iPhone users with data. That said, one can send a regular SMS using the Messaging app on an iPhone as well.

Google Exec Comments On iMessage Bullying

Google Exec Comments On iMessage Bullying

Google's Senior Vice President of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer took to Twitter to talk about an 'open invitation' about group chats with RCS across Android and iOS. Readers considered the tweet as a request for Apple to bring in iMessage on Android. However, that wasn't what Lockheimer was aiming to express.

This created a flurry of tweets and retweets where Lockheimer clarified what he was saying. "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," his tweet said.

To make things even clearer, another tweet said: "We're not asking Apple to make iMessage available on Android. We're asking Apple to support the industry standard for modern messaging (RCS) in iMessage, just as they support the older SMS / MMS standards."

Why Is Google Pushing RCS So Much?

Google believes RCS is the next-gen messaging service and the step forward. Lockheimer and other Google executives have been pushing forth the RCS standard for a while now, especially as a means to replace the outdated SMS. This is also because people still depend on a phone number-based messaging platform.

"If you want to reach someone and you don't know whether they use app x y or z, you have high confidence that sending them a text (SMS) will work. That's because it's a standard and supported by essentially all mobile devices," he explains.

Will Apple Ditch iMessage?

In this perspective, Google wants Apple to get on board for the RCS platform. Bringing in RCS to iOS would mean ditching iMessage or at least iMessage would take a back seat. Considering the competition, it's unlikely that Apple will adopt RCS to its iOS platform.

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