FCC Could Investigate Apple over Beeper Mini’s Shutdown

FCC commissioner brendan carr talking about Beeper Mini imessage for android app and Apple shutting it down
Image Courtesy: C-Span (Edited by Beebom)
In Short
  • US Commissioner Brendan Carr spoke in detail today regarding the Beeper Mini shutdown by Apple at Washington, DC.
  • Beeper Mini, which brought iMessage for Android, was notably mentioned in his speech to promote usability & accessibility.
  • Apple may be investigated by the DOJ for anti-competitive behavior, and the FCC is expected to investigate them for potentially violating Part 14 rules.

Apple is being investigated by the FCC two months after the Beeper Mini shutdown back in late 2023. Beeper Mini’s Android app brought Apple’s previously exclusive iMessage messaging platform to Android, making green & blue text bubbles friends for a brief moment in time. Now, the app requires you to have a Mac to work.

Brendan Carr is a Commissioner at the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Several US officials met together at the State of the Net 2024 conference, televised by C-Span here. During the FCC Commissioner’s speech, the Beeper Mini issue was discussed at large.

He stated, “[Beeper Mini] came up with a solution to the green bubble, blue bubble. It enabled people on Android devices to communicate with iMessage users in a blue bubble fashion.

Features of Beeper Mini, such as no quality loss in photos & videos being sent, were also highlighted. Then, the FCC Commissioner said that with these features, Beeper Mini “promoted accessibility and useability by people with disabilities, including introducing more competition.” This brings us to the next key statement:

“The FTC should investigate Apple’s conduct to see if it compies with the Part 14 rules” – Brendan Carr, FCC Commissioner

Now, Apple is being investigated for potentially not complying with the FCC rules. The FCC Part 14 rules are related to accessibility. They state that providers shouldn’t place roadblocks that essentially cause less accessibility & usability.

apple shuts down beeper mini imessage for android app

Later on, Carr also stated that if Apple continues to maintain the same behavior that demotivates other competitive solutions, there will be negative consequences. Apple was directly called out for its technology having a “walled garden approach” and thus being anti-competitive. For this, the FCC Commissioner stated that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) should look into the “broader competitive effects.”

There was also a post on X (formerly Twitter) where Brendan shared his views on the platform regarding Apple shutting down the Beeper Mini situation. It will be interesting to see how the Beeper Mini versus Apple saga evolves. It will be a major win for everybody if iMessage gets to exist on Android.

In the short time that the Beeper Mini app was working, I thoroughly enjoyed the UI, smoothness, seamless messaging, and, most importantly, staying connected with friends and colleagues on the iMessage platform.

As the situation develops, we will keep you updated. What are your thoughts on the FCC investigating Apple for Beeper Mini shutdown? Let us know in the comments below.

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