One of the unchangeable facts of the tech world is this: having Android and Apple in the same sentence more often than not is all about the latest conflict between the two. If it is not a fight over who owns a particular patent, it is a spat about who is infringing on whose intellectual property by copying it or outright stealing. And of course there is the unending and rather subjective and strident discussion about who owns the best operating system for smartphones.
In a slightly different news from the norm, it seems Apple is going to develop a software to make it easier for users to transfer data from iOS (Apple’s operating system) to Android. Apple helping Android? Something is just not right the first time I saw that bit of news. Something is definitely amiss with the world if that were true.
As it turned out, Apple was actually arm twisted to make that move. That is according to a report by The Telegraph quoting unknown senior industry sources:
‘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.’
And who did the arm-twisting? The telecoms operators according to the report saying that,
‘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. Its popularity among more affluent consumers means operators are dependent on supplies for most of their profits.’
And from the European commission, the report further said that
‘European concern at the iPhone’s dominance is long-standing. In 2013 the European Commission sent out questionnaires seeking information on potentially onerous commercial terms imposed by Apple, but it is understood to have dropped the investigation as no operator spoke out.’
But just a day after The Telegraph reported the unconfirmed story, Apple came out with an unequivocal statement denying that it is trying to make that kind of app. The implication of making that app is that it would be easier to Apple iPhone users to switch over to the Android platform. Which for Apple is practically giving Android the secret to its Achilles heel.
In September of last year, Apple released an app, known as ‘Move to iOS’, that allows users of Android to easily transfer their files to the iPhone. This made it easier for people to switch from Android to Apple devices. So it made sense that to avoid anti-competitive litigation from regulators, Apple would create a ‘move to android’ app.
Even though there is no smoke without fire, for now, Apple is adamant that it’s mobile devices would not have the benefit of that kind of app. Apple’s statement was released online here and it said in part,
”There is no truth to this rumor.We are entirely focused on switching users from Android to iPhone, and that is going great.”
It should be noted though that after Apple was sued by a dissatisfied iPhone user, the company took some steps to make it easier to tranfer files from iOS to Android.
In other words, the battle lines of non-cooperation between the two tech giants are still firmly and boldly drawn.