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Apple (Basically) Being Sued Because Android Green Text Bubbles Are Horrible And Everyone Knows It

iMessage iOS icon
iMessage iOS icon

One of the most genius Android deterrents Apple ever devised is the puke green text bubble that occurs when someone from an iPhone texts someone on an Android phone. It kills the group chat. I’ve got friends who were diehard Android users who relented to

The vomit green text is the first thing an iPhone user notices when they text an Android user and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Department of Justice who just sued Apple alleging anti-competitive behavior tied to the off-putting text bubbles.

Truly, they’re the eyesore of all eyesores when it comes to smartphone usage.

In the DOJ suit against Apple, they specifically name the green text as a form of anticompetitive behavior. Entry 90 of the complaint states:

In addition to degrading the quality of third-party messaging apps, Apple affirmatively undermines the quality of rival smartphones. For example, if an iPhone user messages a non-iPhone user in Apple Messages—the default messaging app on an iPhone—then the text appears to the iPhone user as a green bubble and incorporates limited functionality: the conversation is not encrypted, videos are pixelated and grainy, and users cannot edit messages or see typing indicators.

I did not expect to see a message that amounts to ‘Android green bubble text sucks’ in a 2024 Department of Justice complaint but here we are. That same entry adds more context to the issue. It goes on to say:

This signals to users that rival smartphones are lower quality because the experience of messaging friends and family who do not own iPhones is worse—even though Apple, not the rival smartphone, is the cause of that degraded user experience. Many non-iPhone users also experience social stigma, exclusion, and blame for “breaking” chats where other participants own iPhones. This effect is particularly powerful for certain demographics, like teenagers—where the iPhone’s share is 85 percent, according to one survey. This social pressure reinforces switching costs and drives users to continue buying iPhones—solidifying Apple’s smartphone dominance not because Apple has made its smartphone better, but because it has made communicating with other smartphones worse.

The green text bubble is truly heinous but does that reaaaallly ammount to anti-competitive behavior worthy of the DOJ getting involved? Well, as noted on NPR, the DOJ’s lawsuit includes emails from top executives at Apple appearing to admit that making iMessage seamless across iOS-Android and other devices would potentially drive customers away to Android.

One exec wrote in an email “moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us.” Another executive wrote in an email that allowing iMessage to work with Android “would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones.”

Based on the available evidence, the DOJ suit states “Apple affirmatively undermines the quality of rival smartphones.”

What happens next remains to be seen. The DOJ forcing Apple to make its product work seamlessly with a competitor seems asinine on paper but crazier things have happened in the tech world.

The post Apple (Basically) Being Sued Because Android Green Text Bubbles Are Horrible And Everyone Knows It appeared first on BroBible.


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