Apple is reportedly developing a tool that will let existing iPhone users more easily switch to Android. Such an option would be a big departure for Apple and its closed ecosystem, but it is apparently the result of pressure from carriers, not because the American company suddenly wants to play nice.
According to a senior industry source, Apple has privately agreed to develop a simple tool to help consumers shift data such as contacts, music and photos if they move to Android. Major European telecoms operators are concerned that only a tiny fraction of customers ever move off the iPhone, in part because of the technical hassle of transferring data. The operators fear that the lack of switching weakens their hand in commercial negotiations with Apple, which holds the mobile industry’s strongest card in the iPhone.
Given how Apple generally treats other platforms, it’s difficult for us to accept that such a tool is willing being developed, and definitely harder to believe that it would ever see the light of day.
This report is plausible, but it feels like key details are missing. Indeed, until we hear about some sort of legal reason, we doubt Apple will be pressured into offering such a tool. Carriers certainly have a lot of power, but in their relationship with Apple, they aren’t the ones that do the pushing around.