EU leans against forcing Apple to make iMessage cross-platform, report says

An iMessage chat showing blue and green bubbles
(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The European Union is considering whether to make iMessage a core platform service under the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
  • If iMessage becomes a core platform service, Apple would have to make it available on third-party devices.
  • According to a Bloomberg report, the EU is leaning against issuing the designation because iMessage isn't popular enough for business. 

Apple may not be forced to bring iMessage to Android devices after all, according to a Bloomberg report that shed light on the European Union's ongoing deliberations. The EU is in the process of deciding whether iMessage should be considered a core platform service under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). If a service is given the core platform service designation, it would have to be cross-platform in the EU. 

However, the EU might not give iMessage this designation due to a key part of the DMA. The legislation says that core platform services are used as an important conduit between businesses and consumers. Whether iMessage is used in any significant way for business applications is a bit iffy, which is why it wasn't listed in the EU's first round of designations. 

But now, the above report says the EU is leaning against naming iMessage as a core platform service. The European Commission now believes that iMessage isn't important enough to EU citizens in business markets, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.  

Apple has a few iMessage features that cater to business uses. However, they're only available in a few EU countries, such as Italy, France, and Germany. The biggest one is Business Chat, which allows users to get support from select businesses in the Messages app on an iPhone. Features like these would have to be highly popular in the EU in order for iMessage to earn a core platform service designation. 

The report comes less than a month after Google wrote a letter to the European Commission, arguing that it should make iMessage cross-platform. Google has also asked for Apple to support RCS messaging on iPhone, and Apple later announced it plans to do so next year.

It also comes just a day after software development company Beeper managed to reverse-engineer iMessage. With its new app, Beeper Mini, any Android device can register with iMessage directly on Apple's servers. 

Three of Apple's services have already been named core platform services: the App Store, Safari, and iOS. Whether iMessage would join the other Apple services has been the subject of a five-month-long review. 

The commission has said it will make a final decision in February.

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.

  • fuzzylumpkin
    It definitely is. Meta products may be more popular in Europe, but iMessage definitely fits the bill and needs to be treated the same.