- Apple CEO Tim Cook told an audience member Wednesday to “buy your mom an iPhone.”
- The fan asked Cook about how Apple converts Android messages, a long contentious topic.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday night that he doesn’t hear from many users that the company needs to fix Android-to-iPhone messaging.
At the annual Code Conference Wednesday night, Cook was answering audience questions when one man asked about improving cross-device messaging.
Cook replied, “I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy on that at this point. I would love to convert you to iPhone.”
But the audience member held up an iPhone and then said he and his mom can’t send videos because she doesn’t have one.
“Buy your mom an iPhone,” Cook said, prompting laughs from the crowd.
Apple has long fielded criticism for not adopting what is called Rich Communications Services, or RSC, which is a modern industry standard to improve the image, video, and text quality of messages between devices. Apple currently uses SMS and MMS, decades-old methods of sending text-only messages.
This is why some users complain about poorly converted videos and other media when sending them between Android and iPhones. It’s also why Android texts appear green on iPhones — not blue like iMessages. The move has kept users locked into the Apple ecosystem for years, a fact that leadership acknowledged in legal documents revealed in 2021.
“Moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us,” Apple executive Phil Schiller said in one of the documents.
Google specifically has worked the issue into its marketing and has been publicly vocal about urging Apple to adopt RCS.
In early August, Google took a blatant jab at Apple via a campaign on its website over what it says was the company’s failure to improve the user experience.
“These problems exist because Apple refuses to adopt modern texting standards when people with iPhones and Android phones text each other,” the Android website says.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, a senior vice president at Google, chimed into Cook’s comments on Twitter Wednesday night, resharing the Apple CEO’s remarks with his own.
“It’s clear why Apple is opposing interoperability. But people should be able to send high quality videos and photos to their mom without having to buy her a new phone,” he tweeted.