Facebook tells it is pressuring Apple to allow third-party messaging apps to be set as default on iPhones. In a conversation with The Information, Facebook’s head of messaging Stan Chudnovsky said the company is trying to convince the Cupertino giant to allow iPhone users to set their default messaging app rather than forcing them to use iMessage whether they want it or not.
According to Chudnovsky, “We understand that people should be able to use different messaging apps and the default one on their phone. Generally, everything moves in this direction anyway“. He also insisted that Apple’s methods are unfair to third-party developers because it does not provide them a level playing field on iOS. A more open operating system, such as Android, will allow other developers, such as Facebook, to compete on a level playing field, he said.
Chudnovsky further stated that Apple may not be willing to make the switch because that could affect iPhone sales in the long term. When asked why he thinks Apple has steadfastly refused to change its position despite possible antitrust scrutiny, he said: “The main assumption is that messaging drives hardware sales.”
While Apple may not be willing to open the messaging service on iPhones to third-party developers, the company has included options in iOS 14 to allow users to change the default web browser and email client. While the company appears unwilling to allow users to replace iMessage as the default messaging app on iOS, for now, it will be interesting to see if that will change in the future.