Thanks to the European Union, the iPhone 15 series will have a USB-C port instead of the proprietary Lightning port. The European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), passed by its 27 member states, may force Apple to allow developers to promote third-party in-app payment platforms that would allow developers to avoid reducing in-app transactions from 15% to 30%. %. maintained by Apple.
The European Union may force Apple to support RCS in the 27 EU member states
Apple will soon hear about another change that DMA may impose on it. Depending on whether or not the EU says Apple’s iMessage platform is a “gatekeeper,” Apple may have to add support for Rich Communication Service (RCS). The latter is the platform used by Google’s Android messaging app and Google is trying to convince Apple to add iOS support for it.
Last year, Google put up signs in Times Square calling on Apple to support RCS
What’s interesting is that RCS gives Android users many of the same features that iMessage offers iOS users such as end-to-end encryption, support for longer texts, high-quality photos and videos, read receipts, typing indicators, and more. And that’s it. Just like with iMessage, all the extra features we just mentioned disappear if an iOS user joins a group chat made up of Android users. Since Apple believes that iMessage is a unique feature that will attract iPhone buyers, Apple wants nothing to do with adding support for RCS.
However, features in iMessage that you won’t get in RCS, such as Animojis, Memojis, and the ability to send handwritten notes, shouldn’t be enough to make a consumer choose an iPhone over an Android device. RCS has unique features as well, such as suggested responses and the ability to share your location with family and friends.
Apple says iMessage does not have enough users in the EU to be considered a gatekeeper
But let’s go back to the issue at hand. According to BGR, if the EU says iMessage is the gatekeeper, Apple will have to subsidize competing messaging platforms like RCS. A company is considered a gatekeeper in the EU if it had average sales of at least €7.5 billion in the last three financial years, or had a fair market value of at least €75 billion in the last financial year.
The gatekeeper must also operate in at least three Member States, and assist more than “45 million monthly active users and more than 10,000 active business users annually in the European Union over the past three years on a number of core platform services, such as search engines and services.” Social Networks and Operating Systems.” Apple argues that it does not have the 45 million iMessage users in the EU, which is the number needed to be a gatekeeper.
Under the DMA definitions, the EU said in July that seven tech companies qualify as gatekeepers, including Apple, Google, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, Samsung and ByteDance. Booking.com said it will join the group next year. Tomorrow, September 6th, the EU will announce exactly which companies are gatekeepers, and will also list services, such as iMessage, that are gatekeepers. So while Apple is, in DMA’s eyes, the gatekeeper, iMessages may not be. And this is important.
Apple argues that iMessage, by itself, is not big enough to be a gatekeeper. Apple hopes the EU will agree, in which case Apple won’t have to add support for RCS in the EU. If iMessage is considered a gatekeeper, Apple has until March 24th to support RCS in the economic union.
Unlike changing the iPhone port from Lightning to USB-C which Apple is doing all over the world, the company will probably decide to introduce RCS support, if it has to do so, in the 27 member states of the European Union only. The same would likely happen if Apple were forced to support third-party app stores and sideloading.
So don’t forget to check back tomorrow to see if we have any news on whether or not the EU considers iMessage as a gateway. to Tim CookIt might be a sleepless night.