Why Tim Cook Wants You To Buy Your Mom An iPhone

Tim Cook has no intention of making iPhone to Android text messaging more compatible.

By Jennifer Hollohan | Published

A healthy debate exists between iPhone and Android users, each claiming the superiority of their respective devices. As technology has advanced over the years, the divide between the two deepens. Often, entire families will choose one platform over the other. And this works out well since the devices do not always like to play nice with each other. However, this lack of interoperability can be frustrating for families with split loyalties. Tim Cook got asked this week if there was any news about improving the divide, and he answered with a resounding no.

As the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook has led the charge of cementing the company’s brand identity. He took over in 2011 after Steve Jobs’ passing. Under his leadership, the company has seen numerous highly successful new iPhones launch.

During an event on Wednesday at Vox Media’s Code 2022, Tim Cook fielded questions over the lack of interface between the iPhone and Android platforms. One of the points of contention surrounds the bubbles that appear in text messages which distinguish which platform each phone is on. Texts from iPhone users appear in a blue bubble, and those from Android users appear in green. This discrepancy occurs because Apple uses a proprietary messaging platform named iMessage, which does not use RCS.

texting tim cook iphone

Most cell phone companies have started to move to a new platform – RCS. RCS is short for Rich Communications Services and should replace the current SMS and MMS messaging protocols. It first made tech news in 2008, but some were slow to adopt the new protocol. That includes Tim Cook-led Apple, which is resistant to changing iPhone messaging.

That reluctance is causing problems. While iPhones and Androids talk to each other on a basic level, the resulting texts are less than ideal. The colored bubbles are primarily an aesthetic issue and do not negatively impact functionality. The real trouble is deeper. Because of the lack of interoperability, iPhone users cannot send proper videos to Android users. What comes through for the recipient is fuzzy and compressed. When a reporter asked Tim Cook about a possible fix for the issue, he brushed the question off.

According to the CEO, the company has no intention of adopting the RCS protocol. But instead of addressing the reasons behind their decision, Tim Cook told the reporter to “Buy your mom an iPhone.” He also told the crowd that Apple hasn’t received enough feedback from existing iPhone users to warrant a switch.

Since Tim Cook appears resistant to public pressure from Google over the issue, he is likely unfazed by the reporter’s frustration. In August, Google launched a public campaign to try and pressure Apple into giving in. They even created a website to argue why iPhones should sport the new messaging standard.

None of their marketing efforts appear to have worked, however. Tim Cook is firm in his decision to not adopt RCS. During the Vox Media event, he was open and forthcoming. He told those present at the event – “I would love to convert you to an iPhone.”