Is Apple developing a tool that would make it easier for iPhone owners to switch to Android? And is the impetus for that tool's development pressure from European telco operators? That seems unlikely given Apple's fondness for its vast installed base of customers, the historically tough negotiating stance it typically takes with carrier partners -- not to mention the company's penchant for loudly touting its "Android switchers" metric literally every chance it gets. And, indeed, it is just that.
On Monday afternoon, Apple responded to reports claiming it is developing just such an iOS-to-Android tool by rather definitively calling bullshit.
“There is no truth to this rumor," Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. "We are entirely focused on switching users from Android to iPhone, and that is going great."
Apple's terse dismissal of the rumor follows a Jan. 9 report in The Telegraph that claimed the company has agreed to develop an iOS-to-Android migration tool that would help iPhone owners shift data like contacts, music, and photos to Android handset. Essentially, it would be a mirror image of Apple's own "Move To iOS" app which the company debuted last year. The senior industry sources cited in that report also claimed that Apple was developing the tool under pressure from major European telecoms operators.
When Apple last reported earnings in October 2015, CEO Tim Cook made a point of touting what he said was the largest number of Android-to-iPhone switchers the company have yet seen. "For customers who purchased an iPhone last quarter, and replaced a smartphone, that 30 percent of those switched from an Android device," Cook said. "There would have been some switchers on top of that from other operating systems, but obviously Android is the largest one by far."
John Paczkowski is the managing editor for BuzzFeed San Francisco. Formerly deputy managing editor for Re/code and AllThingsD, he's been covering the intersection of technology and culture since 1997.
Contact John Paczkowski at John.Paczkowski@buzzfeed.com.
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