Surprise, surprise, surprise! Carriers reportedly didn’t know about Apple’s iMessage

“A well-informed little birdie tells me that Apple’s phone carrier partners around the world found out about iMessages [sic] when we did: during today’s keynote,” John Gruber reports for Daring Fireball.

“iOS 5, which is due out this fall, features a new messaging service, allowing iPad and iPod touch users to ‘join the conversation,'” Josh Ong reports for AppleInsider. “iMessage allows unlimited text messages via Wi-Fi or 3G from one mobile iOS device to another. Built right into the Messages app, users can send text, photos, videos, locations and contacts.”

Ong reports, “The news of Apple’s iMessage may have been quite the shock for wireless providers, which bring in substantial revenue from SMS plans. Gruber himself noted that he plans to cancel his SMS plan as soon as iMessage is available. The feature will also compete against a number of iOS apps that offer SMS-like functionality.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re with Gruber on this: Our SMS plans will be cancelled the moment iMessage ships.

[Thanks to Gomer Pyle for the headline.]

Related articles:
RIM half-CEO’s biggest fear comes to fruition: Apple unveils iMessage app and service – June 6, 2011
New iOS 5 includes over 200 new features, including Notification Center, iMessage, Newsstand, Twitter integration – June 6, 2011


    1. Seriously, as much as I think that’s a great idea, maybe 20% of my friends and clients use iOS.

      That said, will message center be built into Lion? Because I sure would love to send texts to my mother’s iMac.

      1. Yeah I’ve have about 10-20% of my friends who don’t use iOS, I say fuck em. You want to use some antiquated messaging system then you can just e-mail me instead.

      2. Andy, Apple wins by going for the future, not the present. Let’s see…teenagers and young adults text constantly. Now they can have eternally free texting and even send pictures and video. Hummmm. I’d say there will be a change because the texting world is no country for old men (except my mom and pop who also text constantly and are tired of paying for it). And when the kids grow up and get their own devices, if IOS, they will also have eternally free texting. I think I get what Apple is about here. Good stuff for free. That sounds like winning to me.

    2. Like Andy, not everyone I text to has an iOS device. So I don’t see dropping SMS completely, but I do see reducing it *drastically*. At some point, hopefully in the not-so-distant future, iMessage will be ubiquitous enough to drop SMS altogether.

  1. From what I understand, iMessage will only allow free messages to another iOS device. Most of my friends and family do not have iOS devices and therefore dropping the SMS plan from my phone won’t be an option. I don’t text a lot (currently have the $5 / 200 messages plan) but I’m not about to start paying 10¢ per message when some texts me or I need to text them when they don’t have an iOS device.

  2. Ha. Don’t you think they’ll change plans to force you to have text. Anyway I message seems like it’s a ecosystem with iOS devices. You’re still gonna need regular text message to get a message from android users and regular phone users that’s why it’s built into the messages app. But it will certainly screw the phone carriers out a bit of text profits. Can you say data will get more expensive. So canceling your traditional text plan may not be such a good idea quite yet. It was a but exciting at first.
    Currently using iOS 5 beta on my iPad and it’s glorious!

  3. I do have family and friends with dumb phones, so I don’t see how dropping SMS is going to work. My understanding is that iMessage only works between iOS devices, or am I missing something here?

  4. With articles like this and comments of people planning to cancel, my guess is that by the time iOS 5 ships, the carriers will have bullied Apple into not releasing the service as is.. OR: finding a way to make an SMS plan mandatory…

    No way, the carriers are going to allow everyone to cancel there SMS plan.

      1. Yeah, funny. Now try reading the whole the sentence in context..

        I said “bullied”…. “OR”.. the point being there is no way that the carriers are going to sit idly by and allow everyone to cancel their SMS plans.. It’s just too big of a money maker.

          1. Reading comprehension much? try reading the whole paragraph, it might make more sense..

            And for the record.. The telco companies have done plenty to piss of Steve.. Facetime, tethering and MMS just to name a few.

          1. Funny, that you’ve forgotten recent history..

            MMS rollout a year late, tethering rollout, several years late..

            Not to mention the Telco co’s are still denying Facetime on 3G.

            Yes, Steve is a mighty influential man, BUT he doesn’t always get his way.

            Trust me, I’d be more than happy to ditch my $19.95 messaging plan, but i can assure you AT&T will not allow it to happen..

            1. COMPLETELY different scenarios. Apple capitulated to the carriers (in this country only) because of their pathetic networks and the inability for them to handle the increased traffic.

              Funny, you’ve forgotten somewhat less recent history, such as Veizon being told to pound sand over their demands for the first iPhone.

            2. Of course they are different scenarios, I never said otherwise..

              And no I’m not forgetting about Verizon.. I didn’t say Apple never wins.. They often times do. BUT NOT ALWAYS.

              $1.29 iTunes songs.. Yep, Apple was bullied by the labels on that one.

            3. $20 for a text plan!? I hope that’s unlimited in/out and international, too! Is that standalone or bundled with other features like call display, visual voicemail, etc?

          2. Oh a few more..

            Variable pricing on iTunes songs.

            Variable pricing on TV shows..

            So I reiterate, Apple has been bullied by it’s partners before. Steve doesn’t ALWAYS get his way.

            1. I already did..

              Apple has been bullied by it’s partners. I’ve provided examples. Do with it what you will..

              That was never my point anyway, you seem so hell bent on proving that I’m wrong about Apple never being bullied (even thought you are wrong) that you’ve completely ignored my point.. I didn’t say they would be bullied, I said one of two things would happen.. the telco companies would either bully them OR make a messaging plan mandatory.

              The point which should be discussed is:

              The telco companies aren’t going to allow such a lucrative revenue stream to disappear. that’s it.

    1. Yes, but we’re not a bunch of socialists, so we’re happier. (I got that right, didn’t I?) Who cares how slow or expensive our internet access is. Who cares how many duplicative yet incompatible cellular phone systems we have. It’s the free market, so it must be good.

  5. No this doesn’t replace carrier-based messaging. It only adds messaging to devices currently without it natively: iPad an iPod touch. AppStore apps that offer texting are even safe since they allow texting beyond iOS.

    This is mostly a threat to Blackberry, taking away RIM’s last bragging point feature.

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