WhatsApp CEO Says Apple Wants To Kill Android Once And For All, But Is It Really Possible?

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For quite some time, Facebook has been lashing out at Apple for letting iPhone users opt-out of personalised ads. The same has also led Tim Cook, CEO – Apple, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO – Facebook, to criticising the moves made by each others’ companies in open forums.

Now, following up on the same, Will Cathart, the CEO of the Facebook-owned instant messaging giant WhatsApp also joined in on the fight. Cathart recently appeared on the ‘Big Techniilogy Podcast’ wherein he didn’t speak very kindly of Apple’s decision-making when it comes to privacy.

According to Cathart, Apple’s decision to introduce privacy labels is extremely discriminatory, and it is somewhat directed towards the iPhone maker’s interest which lies in having everyone use an iPhone device rather than an Andoird smartphone.

Cathart further backed up his assumption by mentioning that most people in the United States are iPhone users. The messaging experience is superior in iMessage, given if everyone else has an iPhone as well. Thus, it is very likely that Apple doesn’t want its users to use WhatsApp because their ultimate goal is not to let people use an Android phone in the first place and experience anything out of the Apple ecosystem.

After Apple rolled out its new privacy label feature for its App Store earlier this year, it found both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger collect a lot more data when compared to the amount other top messaging apps collect.

While WhatsApp has 16 different privacy labels, the Facebook Messenger app reportedly has 65 different privacy labels, including product personalisation, third-part advertising, app functionally, and more.

Addressing the same, Cathart on the podcast said that WhatsApp currently competes with Apple’s iMessage in the U.S, where a bigger percentage of people use the latter. And in such a scenario, introducing the privacy labels was a shot in the arm for WhatsApp. While people do come across Facebook-owned messaging giant’s privacy labels, they do not necessarily see the labels for iMessage as it already comes preloaded in an iPhone. Thus people tend to consider Apple’s iMessaging to be a better offering automatically.

When it asked what device Cathart uses for himself, he mentioned Android because WhatsApp’s userbase is very ‘Android heavy’. He, however, added that he also uses an iPad and iPhone as WhatsApp is building products for both Android and the iOS ecosystem.

Cathart claims seems rather surprising as Apple don’t target every segment of user base that’s unded the reach of Android. For example, in India – the world’s second largest market by the number of smartphone users – basic and entry level smartphone market is completely captured by Android as Apple doesn’t have any bet in this segment. Interestingly, these segments (<Rs 15,000) together accounts for nearly 71% of total smartphone sales every quarter.

All in all, while Apple does seem to be trying to kill Android, one lethal stab at a time, it wouldn’t exactly be very easy. Since March 2017, Android has been dominating the global OS market and is the dubbed most popular OS for mobile devices. As of April 2020, the share of Android OS stood at 39.13% across all platforms. In the Mobile space, however, Android share swells to a whopping 72% as four out of the world’s top five smartphone vendors bank on Android.

As for iOS, as of April 2020, it accounts for nearly 17.23% of the total OS market worldwide, and it is the second most popular OS for the mobile device market after Android. Also, to match up with Apple’s pro-privacy features, Google is now preparing to take similar steps for Android devices.

Whatever may be the case, no one can tell what exactly is ‘cooking’ at Apple’s factory for sure. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.


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