Report: Apple responds to EU operator concerns with tool simplifying shift from iOS to Android

Apple is on the brink of releasing software that simplifies the switch from its iOS operating system to Google's Android platform following pressure from European mobile operators.

The U.S. company declined to comment on a report by the Telegraph stating it is secretly preparing software to make it easier for consumers to switch away from its iOS to address the concerns of leading EU operators that consumers are currently deterred from switching from Apple's successful iPhone range of smartphones.

Operators say the process of shifting away from iOS to Android -- the world's most popular smartphone OS -- is off-putting for consumers, meaning operators are effectively locked into offering Apple's devices to their customers, the Telegraph reported.

Apple is responding by developing a basic OS switching app that will simplify the process of transferring mobile subscribers' contact data, music and photos to Android devices, the newspaper added.

The tool would be similar to an app Apple launched in September 2015 designed to simplify the move from Android OS devices to iOS devices, 9to5Mac reported. Apple CEO Tim Cook reported in October that the company had registered its highest rate of Android to iOS switches in its fiscal fourth quarter -- covering the three months to Sept. 26 -- with 30 per cent of new iPhone owners changing from Android, 9to5Mac reported in a separate article.

If the report of the iOS to Android switching tool is accurate, it would signal a change in Apple's policy of seeking to lock subscribers into the iOS ecosystem, the Telegraph noted.

The European Commission in 2013 began probing the commercial terms Apple offers operators, but dropped the investigation following a poor response from mobile operators, the newspaper added.

Apple last week revealed record app and in-app purchases through its App Store in the fortnight to Jan. 3, with over $1.1 billion (€1 billion) spent during the period. Customers spent at least $144 million on Jan. 1 alone, the company stated.

Research company IDC last month predicted that Android would remain the world's most popular smartphone OS, tipping the platform to achieve a market share of 82 per cent in 2015.

For more:
- see this Telegraph report
- read this related 9to5Mac article
- see this previous 9to5Mac report
- view this Apple App Store announcement

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Gartner: 50% of consumers in mature markets will use smartphones or wearables for mobile payments by 2018
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