IPhone RCS: Winners and Losers

In a recent development, it has come to light that Apple’s decision to incorporate a RCS protocol in its standard messaging app “Message” was not influenced by international pressure or Google’s criticism, but rather stemmed from the new regulations mandated by Chinese authorities.

The Chinese government demanded that foreign manufacturers of 5G smartphones must support RCS (Rich Communication Services) in order to sell their devices in the Chinese market. To avoid losing a significant market share in China, Apple had to comply with this requirement.

Despite Google’s persistent efforts over the years to encourage Apple to adopt RCS in its messaging platform to facilitate communication between Android and iOS users, Apple had resisted the integration. Google believed that incorporating the RCS protocol, widely used in Android, would enhance the quality and capabilities of cross-platform messaging, offering features like group chat, high-resolution file transfer, and text entry indicators.

Beeper further intensified the pressure on Apple by introducing the Beeper Mini Android Messor last year, enabling Android users to communicate directly with iMessage users without needing an Apple ID. This move somewhat tarnished Apple’s reputation as it bypassed the company’s long-standing restrictions.

Apple’s decision to implement RCS in the standard iOS “Message” app is primarily driven by the need to retain its market share in China. However, this strategic move not only solidifies Apple’s position in the market but also earns the trust and respect of new users and regulatory authorities.

This decision underscores Apple’s adaptability to global regulations and its ability to navigate challenging situations without compromising its image or user experience. The implementation of RCS in the iOS “Message” app is on the horizon, and only time will reveal if this innovation will have any impact on existing platforms like Telegram and WhatsApp.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.