Thursday, June 21, 2018

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Free Text Messaging from Apple

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Will Apple’s new free text messaging rock to SMS world?  When the Apple 4S debuts next week, it will contain iMessage, a new app launching as part of iOS 5, which will offer iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners unlimited free messaging over Wi-Fi and 3G networks.  Apple’s upcoming free messaging application iMessage in iOS 5 will likely disrupt wireless carriers’ thriving SMS texting business when it arrives on Tuesday, according to multiple analysts.   The New York Times reports that the forthcoming service is being perceived as a threat to mobile operators. iMessage and other similar services will allow smartphone users to rely on existing data plans and Internet service for text messaging functionality, thereby avoiding having to pay for high-margin SMS plans from wireless operators.

An SMS message offers the user the ability of sending short bursts of text of up to 160 characters. Report author Jenna Wortham noted that, at rates as high as 20 cents per sent and received message, a user would end up paying $1,500 to send 1MB of text data. The same amount of data costs just 1.25 cents on a $25 per month 2GB data plan.   Two trillion text messages are sent in the U.S. each year, according to Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett. That translates into $20 billion in revenue each year, with $7 billion a year taken in by Verizon alone.     One expert estimates that a single text message costs carriers just a third of a penny. University of Waterloo professor Srinivasan Keshav told the publication that SMS messages use the same network carriers employ for voice calls, piggybacking “on the phone railway,” with as much as “4,090 percent markup” for the service.     In the Netherlands, free messaging apps and social networks have already “shrunk texting traffic and eroded profits,” Wortham said. However, the report noted that some carriers are adapting to the imminent potential threat coming from Apple’s iMessage.


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