Apple is reportedly developing a tool that will let existing iPhone users more easily switch to Android. Such an option would be a big departure for Apple with its closed ecosystem, but it is apparently the result of pressure from carriers, rather than because the American company suddenly wants to play nice.
Apple has a very specific strategy compared to Google and Microsoft when it comes to its rivals’ app stores. That said, last year the company released its first three Android apps: Move to iOS, Beats Pill+, and Apple Music. The first one, which was quickly destroyed with one-star reviews, lets Android users more easily switch to Apple’s iOS by moving their personal data for them.
Unsurprisingly, Apple’s first Android app benefits Apple. This alleged new tool would help Google (Windows and BlackBerry OS are not mentioned).
The Telegraph reports:
According to a senior industry source, Apple has privately agreed to develop a simple tool to help consumers shift data such as contacts, music and photos if they move to Android. Major European telecoms operators are concerned that only a tiny fraction of customers ever move off the iPhone, in part because of the technical hassle of transferring data. The operators fear that the lack of switching weakens their hand in commercial negotiations with Apple, which holds the mobile industry’s strongest card in the iPhone.
Given how Apple generally treats other platforms, it’s difficult for us to accept that such a tool is being developed out of the company’s own initiative, and definitely harder to believe that it will ever see the light of day. This report is plausible, but it feels like key details are missing.
Indeed, until we hear about some sort of legal reason behind the development, we doubt Apple will be pressured into offering such a tool. Carriers certainly have a lot of power, but in their relationship with Apple, they aren’t the ones that do the pushing around.
Update on January 11: Apple has denied the report. “There is no truth to this rumor,” an Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed. “We are entirely focused on switching users from Android to iPhone, and that is going great.”