Apple CEO Tim Cook on a blue background with green message bubbles appearing near his mouth.
Do you think Tim Cook ever sends green bubble texts?
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Tim Cook said last night that Apple won't do it because it doesn't sell phones.

An attendee at the Code conference told Cook that it was difficult for him to send videos to his mom because Apple devices don't support the texting protocol. Cook suggested that the attendee buy his mother an Apple product. Cook doesn't hear users asking for a lot of energy on that.

Cook has never addressed the Rich Communications Services protocol before. It would fix a lot of the issues you run into when texting between Apple and Android devices if you use RCS. Apple has so far refrained from offering support, and the distinction between iMessage's blue bubbles and regular text message's green ones has remained a thorn in the side.

Cook said on Wednesday that Apple chose to make a better texting experience via iMessage. It has been a part of Apple's strategy for a long time. Apple showed top execs like Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller in emails that they made the case that iMessage wouldn't benefit the company. Apple could have made a version of iMessage that was compatible with the other operating systems, but it hasn't been made public.

By making iMessage an Apple-only product, and continuing to improve it with features like the ability to unsend messages, Apple can make the case that the best way to message your friends is on an Apple device. The company benefits by creating as much separation as possible between text messaging on Apple and on the other side of the world. More people are going to buy more phones.

In the last few months, Google has been trying to get Apple to use RCS. It is now supported by AT&T, T-Mobile, andVerizon after a very slow roll out. It is more likely that people will just text over RCS without thinking about it since all three have committed to making the default texting app for their phones.

There is a "really clear solution" to messaging issues and Apple is "holding back" customers who text, said Hiroshi Lockheimer, a senior vice president at the internet giant. The company launched a website to shame Apple into using RCS.

He said that people should be able to send high quality videos and photos to their mom without buying her a new phone. Cook doesn't agree.