London newspaper The Telegraph reported Tuesday that Apple was working on a "simple tool" that would make it easy for iOS users to move their contacts, music, and photos to Android. The newspaper said Apple had agreed to do so under pressure from the European Commission (EC), but Re/code then reported that Apple flatly denied the story.
At issue are carriers in the European Union who are supposedly concerned that very few users switch away from iOS. According to The Telegraph, that's "in part because of the technical hassle of transferring data."
Those carriers think customer unwillingness to ditch iPhone "weakens their hand" in negotiating with Apple. From The Telegraph's report, the iPhone's "popularity among more affluent consumers means operators are dependent on supplies for most of their profits."
Put another way, because Apple's customers like to stay Apple's customers, carriers have to dance to Apple's tunes, and they're cranky about it. They think that if those customers had an easy way to migrate their personal data, more of them would leave iOS, reducing Apple's negotiating power.
In a word: lol.
But, EC regulators are far more aggressive in maintaining a competitive environment than regulators in the States, and it's little surprise that they may have found sympathy in the carrier's
whining complaints. With that in mind, there's a lot about The Telegraph's report that sounds entirely probable, and that Apple had agreed to make some kind of tool that would make it easier for customers to move their personal data.
Enter Ina Fried at Re/code. Her unnamed sources at Apple "flat out denied" The Telegraph's report, saying: "There is no truth to this rumor. We are entirely focused on switching users from Android to iPhone, and that is going great."
Going back to that original report, it was that Apple had agreed to make this migration tool. Technically that means that Apple is denying having made that agreement. That doesn't necessarily mean that Apple isn't in talks with the EC over this issue, and it's those talks that are the heart of this story. Only they're ongoing, not concluded, and Apple hasn't agreed to anything yet.