Mark Zuckerberg To Tim Cook, “iPhones Are Not Welcome At Facebook!”

Close-up of Mark Zuckerberg in front of an image of the White House
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Remember that little public spat in the media between Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook regarding the Cambridge Analytica scandal? Well, it didn’t end there. Mr. Zuckerberg did not appreciate being called out like a school kid being scolded by the administrator. So he went and did what any rational adult CEO would do. According to AppleInsider, “Zuckerberg told Facebook execs to stop using iPhones after Tim Cook privacy comments.”

“Cambridge Analytica was a hot topic at the time, with the now defunct analytics firm’s data harvesting operation having been disclosed to Facebook users just weeks prior. As expected, Cook, a stanch proponent of data privacy, was asked to chime in on the subject.

“We’re not going to traffic in your personal life. Privacy to us is a human right,” Cook said, adding, “It’s a civil liberty.”

The comments reportedly “infuriated” Zuckerberg, who ordered his managerial team to cease using iPhones in favor of Android, citing the larger install base of Android as his reasoning.”

Don’t call it a temper tantrum. Mr. Zuckerberg offered a perfectly good rationalization. Most of the smartphone-using world use android and not iOS. That is absolutely the case. Unfortunately for Zuckerberg, almost all of the profitable users cary an iPhone. They are also the users with the most valuable data to mine. If you are a data-mining company, not all data is created equally.

This wuold not be the first time that Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Apple have had serious clashes. PCMag reported on the dispute Zuckerberg had with Jobs over Ping: Apple’s failed music-based social network. It might not have failed had Facebook not pulled out of the deal at the last minute, forcing Apple to launch without it.

Facebook Messenger on a smart phone.

Then, there was the kerfuffle over the Facebook iPad app. Users of the early iPad were wondering why there was no Facebook app, the largest no-show at the time. The lack of an app seemed intentional and mean-spirited. We finally heard from Zuckerberg on the matter. Business Insider reported in late 2010 that Zuckerberg declared the iPad a computer and not a mobile device at all. That is why he refused to talk address it at a mobile event.

One of Zuckerberg’s surrogates later explained that there would be many new tablets coming. And Facebook didn’t want to commit to a single platform. It is difficult to understand why this would have been an issue since an app could have been produced for each viable platform as opposed to blessing only one. No one was looking for an exclusive.

It seems Zuckerberg’s relationship with Tim Cook is even worse than it was with Steve Jobs. But the world has changed a lot since then. Signs point to some of Zuckerberg’s lieutenants have broken ranks and continue to use their iPhones instead of switching to Android. No word on whether Zuckerberg is banning Macs.