In a development many (myself included) thought was unlikely to ever happen, Apple has announced support coming sometime next year for RCS:
An interesting development. The article mentions pressure from the EU as a factor. This may be more an indicator of bureaucratic inertia than anything else.
Based on articles and forum postings I’ve read, iMessage is mostly a North American thing, with most of the message traffic in the EU reported as being on WhatsApp. SMS and MMS are regarded as ancient technology, used for low-grade 2FA and notifications from some businesses and governments. Some carriers are reportedly dropping MMS entirely. Assuming that what I’ve read is true, this will have almost no impact in the EU, but rather a large effect in the US.
One big issue, if true, with how apple plans to implement RCS is to avoid using end to end encryption. This is a key feature in iMessage & a feature of how Google implemented RCS.
However, it seems the encryption isn’t a part of the RCS standard, though I believe it should be.
From an update Digital trends 11/20/23
However, it appears that Apple’s upcoming support for RCS will not include Google’s end-to-end encryption extension. Instead, it appears Apple will be working with the standards body to sanction a universal encryption method instead. This is a logical approach since Google’s E2EE extension is proprietary and would exclude other RCS Universal Profile users.
I personally think that adhering to global standards should be considered an admirable approach and a good move away from the Google proprietary approach