Google SVP Accuses Apple of Using iMessage to Bully Teens Into Buying its Products

BY Anu Joy

Published 9 Jan 2022

Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google Senior Vice President, criticized Apple for resorting to bullying and peer pressure to sell its products. He noted that Apple’s iMessage lock-in is a well-documented strategy to lure and lock people into its ecosystem.

Lockheimer has always been a proponent of the RCS standard and believes that Apple refuses to jump onto the RCS bandwagon to safeguard its iMessage lock-in strategy. He quoted a Wall Street Journal article that outlined how the green iMessage texts have been pushing teenagers to switch from Android to iPhone.


The Google SVP could be alluding to the email exchanges between top Apple executives which proved that they knew iMessage was a barrier for people wanting to switch to Android. The Apple versus Epic lawsuit unearthed a 2016 email wherein Apple’s Phil Schiller said that “moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us.” Apple SVP Craig Federighi, in an email exchange with Eddy Cue, said that “iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones.” This strategy seems to have been successful, with a new survey claiming that a whopping 87 percent of American teenagers own an iPhone.

The WSJ report that is being referenced highlights how Apple’s system of color-coding messages has nudged teens to switch from Android to iPhone. One of the interviewed students said that she was ridiculed if she dated an Android user. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, his texts are green,’ and my sister literally went ‘Ew, that’s gross,'” said the student.

Grace Fang, student at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, said,

“I don’t know if it’s Apple propaganda or just like a tribal in-group versus out-group thing going on, but people don’t seem to like green text bubbles that much and seem to have this visceral negative reaction to it.”

The report paints a world that takes the worst of Lord of the Flies, Idiocracy, and Mean Girls. Do you think Apple is leveraging iMessage to create a class divide? Or do you think everything is fair in love and business?