More signs of steep text message erosion

“Signs of consumers moving on from text-messaging to social media, email and IP-based messaging systems started cropping up in 2011 in advanced SMS markets like Netherlands and Philippines,” Tero Kuittinen reports for Forbes. “What we seem to be witnessing is a situation where those countries where SMS took off first during Nineties are now the first ones to see a steep decline in SMS usage.”

Kuittinen reports, “Text-messaging boom started in the United States a couple of years after SMS vanguard nations in Europe and Asia. It’s quite possible that the SMS erosion will hit AT&T and Verizon in 2012 or 2013. The ambitious new messaging plans and more organic Facebook/Twitter support of both Apple and Google could be the big threat for operator earnings growth in a year or two. As much as 20% of carrier earnings are derived from text-messaging. The fast fade of SMS usage in countries that were most obsessed with text-messaging tells us how difficult it is to project rates of decline of aging technologies – and how unfaithful consumers can be to services that they have loyally used for 15 years.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iMessage.

38 Comments

    1. agreed, but it will take quite a few years. Smartphones are prevelant, but not prevelant enough. I could actually see google voice work. They give you a number to SMS and you pay 0. The only problem is GV has no MMS

    2. Mobile Task Tracker also messages to all platforms including any web enabled device… Laptop, desktop, smart phone tablet you name it… Cloud based UI makes it accessible and every message is date and time stamped

            1. I don’t see that they rip off anyone. You can go to another provider or go without. No one is holding a gun to your head nor stopping you from becoming a Telcom yourself. I have Apple stock too, and many think they are overcharging. Grow up, this is how capitalism works.

          1. “No one is holding a gun to your head nor stopping you from becoming a Telcom yourself…”

            This is actually a reply to a comment further down the thread.

            The stupidity of this statement defies all logic. As does pretty much the rest of the post.

    1. Yeah…the telecos will keep finding new ways to extract money until a cell phone and a carrier are the same as a computer and an internet service provider. We’ll need universal phones and a lot more carrier to carrier competition than we have now.

      For what it’s worth, my family all have iPhones but we use the Textfree app for all of our messaging and don’t pay ATT anything.

    2. Got that right. No potential revenue stream will remain untapped… The process is already clear – enlarge the data rates, but cap the amount. Rather than “all you can eat through a straw,” it will be all that you can pay for through a fire hose.

  1. That’s because people aren’t faithful to a technology, but rather an idea… instant unobtrusive communication.

    People don’t text for the sake of texting. They do it to communicate. If a better tool comes around, they will use it.

  2. ‘Loyal users’ become “unfaithful consumers” by moving on to improved technology? Kuittinen needs a little perspective here; or is personhood now invested in SMS, too?

    1. We live in the age of corporate-think. What’s good for the corporation is good for the nation, and corporations thrive on loyalty—better technology be damned!

      When I tried to terminate my Verizon contract just weeks before its expiration date, I was transferred to the “customer loyalty” department, where I was told that even though Verizon would gladly pro-rate the early termination fee for new Verizon custmers, no such option was available for long-time Verizon customers. In other words, defectors must be punished for leaving the fold. I didn’t pay them a penny.

      1. Did you hear the latest pro-consumer PR move by Verizon?

        Now they are charging (or going to start) a $2 fee if you pay your bill online by credit card. They claim it’s to cover the credit card company processing.

        I really have to wonder how some companies get away with this kind of stuff. As a business owner who had a CC merchant account, we found CC processing fees so low we simply absorbed the cost… and we weren’t exactly a high profit business.

        Oh, and here’s the kicker, they don’t charge that $2 fee if you set up your account to auto-pay by credit card.

        So… what they’re really doing then is charging customers $2 to access their website to pay their bill.

        1. Companies get away with this crap because most people aren’t paying attention. And people aren’t paying attention because they’re afraid that their heads will explode if they let themselves take in all the shady dealing and just plain thievery that passes for “business as usual” in this screwed up excuse for a country. Hard to blame them, but the only way things can improve is if everybody wakes up and says “Enough!” with one voice. I ain’t sayin’ that this is going to happen, but there’s no harm in hoping!

    2. I neglected to mention in my previous post that I terminated my Verizon contract in order to buy the new iPhone, which had just come out and was only available from AT&T. There are always winners and losers when new and better ways of doing things hit the scene. It’s unavoidable. Nobody (except possibly Amazon itself) wanted Amazon to drive bookstores out of business, but what can you do?

      The carriers have been making money on text messaging by shamelessly ripping off their customers. The only way to really pay them back is to withdraw our business from the whole lot of them. And for that, we need telephone communications to move from the cellular networks to the internet—which is bound to happen sooner or later. The carriers are like bank robbers who can hear the wail of the police sirens but are feverishly trying to empty the vault before the cops arrive. It is greed that drives them, not reason. The same could be said for many other businesses.

      1. “Nobody (except possibly Amazon itself) wanted Amazon to drive bookstores out of business, but what can you do?…”

        My only quibble with this is, Barnes & Noble & Borders drove bookstores out of business. Amazon just did the same thing to them.

  3. Kuittinen is a total asswipe. ASSWIPE and an Apple hater from day one. A Nokia stooge, dumbass sheep.

    Consumers are not disloyal as this moron dumbass says. They are doing everything the same. The underlying technology has changed, so operators are taking it right up the ass as they should.

    1. Do you have the ability to write without using ‘potty’ language? Can you not think of a way to say that you disagree with a person’s point of view in a strong way? Give it a try next time and people will take notice.

    1. problem is its only between iPhone users.
      (iOS I mean)

      Granted I have been able to get more of the people I Text with on iPhones… I still have old SMS sufferers.
      Hell, my dad still has an old flip phone… But I think he has sent 1-2 texts in his life. And I think both of those were supervised…

      I can’t dump the text plan just yet, but I bet my total monthly texts have dropped to less than 50 now. (prob under 20)

  4. I don’t understand why everybody thinks text messaging is so out-of-date. It’s much faster and easier than email for short exchanges, and not everyone wants to use a social network for everyday communication. Personally, I wouldn’t get within a hundred miles of Facebook or Twitter.

    What is tiresome and out-of-date is the mobile carriers charging an arm and a leg for text messaging that costs them almost nothing to provide. They’re already charging their customers premium prices for voice and data plans, but they just can’t resist sticking it to them again for text messaging. It’s the carriers, not text messaging, that deserve to die; and die they will. It’s just a matter of time.

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