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Apple to Adopt RCS Messaging Standard for Cross-Platform Communication

Apple has announced its adoption of the RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging standard, set to launch via a software update "later next year." The move is seen as a response to regulatory pressure and competition, especially from Google and Samsung. RCS brings iMessage-style features to cross-platform messaging between iPhone and Android devices, including read receipts, typing indicators, high-quality media sharing, and more. Apple emphasizes that iMessage will remain its primary messaging platform for communication between iPhone users, and RCS will replace SMS and MMS separately when available. The adoption of RCS follows years of pressure from competitors and potential regulatory challenges, signaling a shift in Apple's messaging strategy.

This decision comes amid growing regulatory scrutiny and follows Apple's pushback against the Digital Markets Act in the European Union, which could potentially require the company to open up iMessage. By adopting RCS, Apple addresses the limitations of SMS and MMS in cross-platform conversations and preempts potential regulatory challenges. The move reflects a broader trend of major tech companies collaborating on open standards, evident in Apple's involvement with the Matter smart home standard, collaboration with the FIDO Alliance, and contributions to the Qi2 wireless charging standard.


As Apple aims to improve interoperability for messaging between different platforms, RCS will bring enhanced features to iPhone and Android users, contributing to a more seamless communication experience. While details about the rollout and specific functionalities are pending, Apple's willingness to adopt RCS indicates a strategic shift in response to market dynamics and regulatory considerations. The upcoming integration of RCS is expected to bring more feature parity between iMessage and cross-platform messaging, offering a more inclusive experience for users across different devices.

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