I hate iPhones (and, sometimes, the people who use them) – note to Lina Khan

This is a little rant about how I hate iPhones – and about how I feel about (some of) the people who use them. I love interacting with my various distant buddies, and I love getting lots of porn from them, often by text. But when they use iPhones – and want to use iMessage – things get complicated, as I have an Android.

According to Perplexity, 57% of American cell phone users use iPhones, and 43% use Androids. Globally, more than 70% of cell phone users use Androids. In the U.S., those market share statistics clearly misrepresent the market share among particular demographics. Among wealthier people, iPhones undoubtedly have a much higher market share.

Still, Apple’s decision to attempt to frustrate communication between iPhones and Androids at every step is maddening. I understand it from a business perspective, but both from a personal perspective as an Android user and from a policy perspective as a consumer, it strikes me as radically anti-competitive and simply poor citizenship. Apple, though, is a company, and I don’t really fault it for doing everything it can to maximize its profits – even if its decisions inconvenience its users or users of other technologies.

Apple users, on the other hand, I don’t get: why do so many iPhone users default to the use of iMessage when not only does it not communicate well with over 70% of the phones in the world and over 40% of the phones in the United States, but when there are perfectly good, equally simple solutions available via either WhatsApp, which, alas, is owned by Meta, or Telegram, which is benign, truly?

I understand that iMessage offers some nifty stickers and is integrated into the iOS environment.


I can’t tell you how many group conversations I’ve been in that have been sent sideways by iMessage’s inability to navigate the complexities associated with people using multiple operating systems. And how many iPhone users have been frustrated by either ridiculous compression of their videos, failure to send their audio, or simply failure to transmit their messages to those of us who have green bubbles or whatever the fuck.

I sort of get it. If 90% or 95% of the people you communicate with are on the same system and they make it easy for you to use it, I understand why you might. But the fact that iPhone users don’t generally quickly switch to a mutually useful platform when they learn that someone has an Android – or, simply default to a platform that isn’t anti-competitive in its structure baffles me.

And finally – the evidence that this truly is the result of genuine anticompetitive behavior is the reaction of many iPhone users to rants like this – a sort of impatient annoyance with Android users for our… stubbornness?… in our “refusal to use” iPhones.

I’m ready for Lina Khan.

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