Ahead of Apple's WWDC keynote this year, one of the more bizarre and sketchy rumors we saw take shape claimed that Apple was planning to deliver iMessage to Android. As is typically the case, the rumor mill took this somewhat ridiculous rumor and ran with it.
+ Also on Network World: A closer look at Apple’s biggest announcements from WWDC 2016 +
The only problem is that some people were so busy trying to figure out the ramifications of iMessage hitting Android that they didn't take a step back and try to figure out if this is something Apple would even contemplate in the first place. Remember, every move Apple makes is strategic and geared towards making more money, either via device sales or software. That being the case, iMessage on Android would not only be a free app, but it would also eliminate a user-experience advantage of iOS.
All that aside, WWDC came and went, and while Apple had a number of interesting iMessage announcements on the agenda, delivering iMessage to Android was thankfully not one of them.
Interestingly enough, Walt Mossberg of The Verge asked a senior Apple executive about the rumor, whereupon the nameless executive all but indicated that iMessage will never be coming to Android.
When I asked a senior Apple executive why iMessage wasn’t being expanded to other platforms, he gave two answers. First, he said, Apple considers its own user base of 1 billion active devices to provide a large enough data set for any possible AI learning the company is working on. And, second, having a superior messaging platform that only worked on Apple devices would help sales of those devices—the company’s classic (and successful) rationale for years.
Funny thing is, many tech heads in the build-up to WWDC said they'd consider switching over from the iPhone to Android if iMessage for Android was announced—which if you think about it, is all the evidence needed to have called this rumor absurdly ridiculous from the start.