Update, January 12: An Apple spokesperson has officially told Buzzfeed News that the company is not making a switch to Android tool. “There is no truth to this rumor,” Trudy Muller stated, “We are entirely focused on switching users from Android to iPhone, and that is going great.” Well, I guess that puts this rumor to bed.
Original post: January 11: Apple has been pressured by several European telecommunications companies to make it easier to switch from iOS to Android, according to a senior industry source speaking with The Telegraph. Apple has reportedly agreed to create a tool to make the transition from an iPhone to an Android device simpler and easier for customers.
The move comes following complaints by major European carriers that the difficulty of switching between platforms, primarily from Apple’s side, weakens the telco’s negotiating power with Apple. Due to the hassle of transferring data from iOS to Android, very few customers ever make the switch, making the carriers overly dependent on Apple.
The EU Commission has already tackled Google for antitrust violations, claiming the company unfairly squeezes out competition, so Apple agreeing to make the switching process simpler could be viewed as the lesser of two evils. There’s no telling if the EU Commission has been involved in this decision at all, but creating a simple switch tool would certainly head them off at the pass.
Whether this data transfer tool will take the form of a Move to Android app (like Apple’s Move to iOS app in Google Play) or another tool is uncertain. There is also no timeline given for when it might appear and Apple has yet to confirm this agreement publicly.
While many tools exist to make it easier to transition from Android to iOS, including Apple’s first app in Google Play, Apple has never made it easier to switch in the opposite direction, preferring instead to keep customers locked into its own ecosystem.
While this could simply be considered good business, it could also be considered a nefarious attempt to exclude competition, something the EU doesn’t take very kindly to. Whether or not the creation of this tool will actually see more customers switching to Android we’ll just have to wait and see.
Do you think OS makers should be forced to make switching easier for customers?