Apple finally caved — the company will adopt Rich Communication Services (RCS), which should alleviate some of the worst issues with messaging between iPhones and Androids.
Following Apple’s announcement, there was a rush of theories about why Apple finally gave in after the company played hardball for years (remember when Tim Cook told a reporter to buy their mom an iPhone to address messaging issues? Pepperidge Farm remembers).
My favourite wrong theory was that Nothing’s plan to launch an app that would let Nothing Phone 2 owners use iMessage was the catalyst behind Apple’s RCS announcement. It’s pretty obviously not the case, but that didn’t stop Nothing CEO Carl Pei from trying to take credit for it on Twitter.
These types of product roadmaps don’t change overnight…
But I wonder what could? 🤔
— Carl Pei (@getpeid) November 16, 2023
Another popular theory is that Google’s ‘#GetTheMessage’ campaign finally succeeded. I don’t think this campaign had any real impact on Apple — at best, it may have resonated with a small handful of iPhone users who routinely message people with Android devices and who don’t use third-party apps like WhatsApp or Telegram.
The likely real reason for Apple’s sudden change of heart with RCS is the EU. The European Commission has significant regulatory power (that’s why we can now enjoy USB-C on the iPhone 15 series), and it was also looking into whether iMessage would qualify for regulation under its Digital Markets Act (DMA). The deadline for companies to submit challenges was November 16th, the same day Apple announced RCS support.
In other words, the RCS announcement was most likely an effort by Apple to buy some goodwill to keep iMessage from being regulated, nothing to do with Nothing.
Image credit: Nothing