The day after the iPhone 14 launch, Tim Cook was on stage at the Code 2022 conference for an interview and questions from the audience. But it seems the Apple CEO wasn’t quite prepared for one of the uncomfortable questions an audience member asked him about the discrepancy between messages you can send between iPhones and those to other Android devices via the Messages app. Cook’s response was shocking, in the moment.
Apple CEO justifies lack of feature by selling more iPhones
A member of the audience asked about RCS messaging support, something Google has implemented on Android and keeps pushing to Apple. RCS, or Rich Commuunication Services, allows Android users to send messages through the standard Android SMS app that include advanced content such as photos or videos. This thus provides an alternative to iMessage, and implementing the feature on iPhones could lead to iMessage being replaced completely, as it would be a universal solution for all phones.
Tim Cook responded with the fact that Apple hasn’t received many requests from fans to implement RCS support, suggesting that they’re quite happy with the blue chat bubbles in iMessage. The same viewer came back, saying he can’t send his mother pictures and videos, as she uses a different type of phone. Timp Cook responded briefly with “Buy your mum an iPhone”.
“I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy” into RCS, says Tim Cook in response to a question at Code. “I would love to convert you to an iPhone.”
“I can’t send my mom certain videos,” says the questioner.
“Buy your mom an iPhone,” says Tim.
– nilay patel (@reckless) September 8, 2022
This statement, perhaps surprising to those in the audience, is not at all unusual for someone in Apple’s management. The company has always had this attitude toward outside technologies, and RCS, which is being pushed by Google, could hurt Apple’s business in the long run, just as an Android iMessage app could give some users the chance to move to other device brands.
However, despite the dry comment, Tim Cook left little room to backtrack on these statements later, suggesting that Apple is “not investing a lot of energy in that direction right now.” So, if something were to change in the future, perhaps RCS could have a future in Apple’s messaging app as well.