The Apple service has been exclusive to their devices, such as iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, though the breakout Android manufacturer has said they have found a way to bring the feature to their own products. In a YouTube video on the company’s website, Nothing CEO Carl Pei, who formally founded OnePlus, explained why they wanted to bring the feature to their devices, which they dubbed ‘Nothing Chats’.
He said: “Nothing Chats allows for freedom of communication between anyone regardless of their brand of smartphone - which is how it should be.
“We understand that the blue bubble vs. green bubble, especially in North America - although seems ridiculous - is real.”
The feature is due to release on Friday which will allow Nothing Phone (2) owners to seamlessly communicate with Apple users over Wifi through iMessage.
Nothing explained that the feature works through developer Sunbird, which will need Phone (2) users to set up an Apple ID, allowing their information be stored on a Mac mini sever elsewhere, so they can then use the service.
As Carl pointed out, iMessage and ‘blue bubble culture’ has become prevalent in the West, particularly in the US.
According to research from Piper Sandler, 50% of all smartphones in the US are iPhones, with an even more staggering 87% of US teens using the Apple device, which in some cases, has led to bullying of those that don’t own one.
Although this could be great news for Android users, iMessage’s loss of exclusivity does not bode well for Apple.
The move would see the California-based company trapped between a rock and a hard place, as they would be faced with either suing Nothing for infringing on their product, which could worsen their stance of insisting they don’t have anti-competitive measures during the ongoing antitrust case against the US Department of Justice, or remain silent, potentially resulting in other Android manufactures bringing iMessage to their devices, and thus losing a major selling point for their iPhones.
In a YouTube video, tech reviewer Marques Brownlee revealed he spoke to Carl about how Apple could respond, to which the Nothing CEO said he didn’t think the tech giant would.
Marques explained: “[We are in] a weird timeline we’re living here in 2023 where Apple can’t really retaliate publicly, because they’ve already been up against so much antitrust pressure.
“Everyone already knows Apple is using iMessage and its powers to keep people from leaving the iPhone, but if Apple now publicly acknowledges this as a competitor in the space that they’ve got to shut down, it could sort of shine a light on it in a way they don’t actually want.”