Apple publishes a number of applications that run on Windows and Android. For example, iTunes is available on the Window App Store. Apple Music can be downloaded from Google’s Play Store for Android smartphones. Both bring plenty of revenue and profits to Apple.
Apple’s Messages app– which runs on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Watch– is so good that every now and again someone says Apple should publish a version for Android.
I know what you’re thinking. “Kate, Messages on Android would make them appreciate all the wonders of Apple products and end up getting even more people to switch to iPhone.”
There’s no way to know that without trying it first, but based upon product marketing basics, putting Messages on Android remains a dumb idea.
Messages may be the stickiest of all the text messaging platforms. Apple has done an excellent job at building in all sorts of useful functions for customers– from SMS, photos, videos, stickers, and more– without much clutter. The green bubble that represents an Android smartphone text message– vs. the blue and gray bubbles for iPhone, iPad, and Mac Messages users– is visible discrimination of the good kind.
Android text messages are displayed as a lower class of message vs. texts from other Apple device owners and users.
That’s good. Why?
In product marketing, differentiation is a key component. Differentiation is what Apple is all about. Apple hardware is differentiated from competitors in quality and price. Apple’s own iOS and macOS are differentiated from Android and Windows.
Differentiation is what makes the world go around.
What does Apple gain by putting Messages on Android? Android customers who say, “Thank you, Apple, for bringing the most popular text platform to my Google Pixel 2.”
A big thank you is not what puts money in the bank. But wait. Isn’t Google working on a new Chat services called RCS that will build-in Messages-like components. Yes. And unless Apple gets on board, and all the cellphone carriers all over the world hop on board, it will fail. And, even if it didn’t, text messages are not secure and encrypted, which makes Apple’s end-to-end encryption in Messages look even better to an Android device owner.
Well, what about Apple Music and iTunes?
Both apps are big cash cows for Apple but Messages is not a money maker. It may attract customers to iPhone from the Android side of the tracks, but there is no money trail. If Apple published Messages for Android, then why not publish Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for Android? Or, Final Cut Pro or Logic Pro X for Windows?
All those apps help Apple to sell hardware. Apple is a hardware company. Whatever helps Apple sell more hardware and bring in more revenue and profits is where Apple will go. Messages helps to differentiate iPhone from the standard Android riffraff.
That’s the way God intended for product marketing to work. Differentiation.