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Apple ‘Develops’ iOS-Android Migration Tool After Operator Pressure

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Apple is reportedly creating a data and setting transfer tool for iOS users who want to switch to Android following pressure from mobile operators

Apple has reportedly agreed to develop a tool that makes it easy for users to transfer data from their iPhone to a device running a rival operating system, such as Android, following pressure from mobile operators.

The Telegraph claims operators are worried that the difficulty of migrating data and settings is discouraging iPhone owners from moving to Android when they upgrade their device.

iOS migration

iPHone 6SWhile this obviously presents competition concerns, the specific fear among operators is that this “lock-in” might hand Apple a strong hand in commercial negotiations due to the popularity of iOS among big spending customers.

However the newspaper said that Apple has privately promised to develop a simple tool that will allow users to move things like contacts, music and photos if they move to Android. It is unclear what has changed Apple’s mind. TechWeekEurope has contacted Apple for comment.

Apple faced criticism last year after it emerged that messages sent to phone numbers associated with iMessage, iOS’ native over the top (OTT) message service, might not be delivered if the owner no longer used an iPhone. This is because whenever anyone with an iPhone attempted to send a message to another iPhone, it did so as an iMessage – not an SMS that can be read by Android devices

A class-action lawsuit claimed this meant Apple was effectively penalising those who ditched their iPhone for a rival handset. The company initially blamed the problem on a server issue but eventually launched a tool that allowed former iMessage users to deregister from the service – three years after it went live with iOS 5 in 2011.

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