‘Buy Your Mom An iPhone’: Apple CEO Brushes Off Request To Improve Texting Experience With Android

‘Buy Your Mom An iPhone’: Apple CEO Brushes Off Request To Improve Texting Experience With Android

Apple CEO Tim Cook dismissed the notion that the technology company should make iPhones more compatible with devices that run the Android operating system.

At a Wednesday night event, the executive responded to a question from Vox Media journalist LiQuan Hunt about enabling Rich Communication Services (RCS) — a protocol that would replace SMS messages with a more comprehensive texting system — into iPhone products.

“I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy in on that at this point,” responded Cook, who replaced Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011. “I would love to convert you to an iPhone.”

Apple held a 48% share of the American smartphone market in the second quarter of 2022, according to data from research firm Counterpoint, with Samsung — which uses Android in many of its products — falling in second place with a 30% market share.

When Hunt noted that his mother is unable to watch the videos he sends via text due to the incompatibility between iMessage and RCS, Cook responded: “Buy your mom an iPhone.”

Google, which commercially sponsors Android, has mounted a publicity campaign against Apple to pressure the market leader into adopting the RCS protocol. “It’s not about the color of the bubbles. It’s the blurry videos, broken group chats, missing read receipts and typing indicators, no texting over Wi-Fi, and more,” a webpage from Android argues. “These problems exist because Apple refuses to adopt modern texting standards when people with iPhones and Android phones text each other.”

Cook’s remarks come days after Apple launched four new iPhones and three new Apple Watches — including the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and Apple Watch Ultra — at a press event. The new smartphones will allow users to place emergency calls in areas without cell service by pointing their devices at satellites.

“It was a great day at Apple Park, introducing the world to products that are essential to our daily lives and that work seamlessly together,” Cook said via social media on Wednesday.

Members of Congress have been eyeing Apple and other technology companies for possible antitrust violations. Although proposals such as the Open App Markets Act and the American Innovation and Choice Online Act — which would have restricted companies with their own shopping platforms or app stores from promoting their own products against other offerings — have failed to advance through Congress in recent months, the American Data Privacy and Protection Act was greenlit by the House Energy and Commerce Committee at the end of July.

The legislation would adopt a “data minimization” approach toward firms’ collection of user information such that only the data points “reasonably necessary and proportionate” to specific applications — including user authentication, fraud prevention, and transaction execution — are gathered. According to an analysis from Wired, the bill would differ from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), under which users must consent to the presence of cookies — files created by websites to track an individual’s online behavior.

While the legislation does not entirely ban online targeted advertising — which is often the motive for sites’ collection of user data — it prohibits such advertising directed toward children or based upon “sensitive covered data,” including health information, precise geolocation, and private messages.