Google says Apple's iMessage, and its blue message bubbles, dominate because of bullying

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Any time you enter a text messaging thread on iPhone, those blue and green message bubbles make clear who else is on iPhone versus Android.

Google claims that distinction leads to "peer pressure and bullying" that has ultimately given Apple's iMessage a clear edge.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior vice president of Google products including Android, wrote on Twitter that Apple's efforts to lock in users to iMessage "is a documented strategy."

Lockheimer's tweet was in response to a Wall Street Journal article on how teens stick with iPhone over Android due to the green bubble signaling they use an Android device.

"Using and bullying as a way to sell products is disingenuous for a company that has humanity and equity as a core part of its marketing," wrote Lockheimer. "The standards exist today to fix this."

The official Twitter account for Android shared Lockheimer's tweet, along with its own message that Apple shouldn't benefit from bullying.

"Texting should bring us together, and the solution exists," read the statement. "Let's fix this as one industry."

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment on the remarks. A support page on Apple's website says the green text bubbles come from users who send Short Message Service (SMS) messages. Apple's iMessage is only available for its products including iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Several stories have documented for years iPhone users' preference for the blue text bubble over green, shutting out some Android owners from text threads.

Meanwhile, Google has been pushing its own Rich Communication System (RCS) texting platform to better compete with iMessage.

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