#iMessage

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson:

“You lie awake at night worrying about what is that which will disrupt your business model. Apple iMessage is a classic example. If you’re using iMessage, you’re not using one of our messaging services, right? That’s disruptive to our messaging revenue stream.”

Here’s an idea, instead of laying awake at night waiting for someone to disrupt your business, why not try actually innovating? What a losing mindset.

SMS has been a colossal rip-off forever. That carriers knew this. They knew such a scam couldn’t last forever. Yet they did nothing, sealing their fate.

This also proves that Apple was smart not to tell the carriers about iMessage before they launched it. They would have bitched and moaned and tried to kill it before it ever saw the light of day.

I’m sure it’s purely coincidental that just as iMessage is about to hit in iOS 5, AT&T is removing all of their lower-priced text messaging plans. 

It’s not like the masses were about to rush to downgrade their rip-off SMS plans or anything.

Now it will be all or nothing — meaning most won’t downgrade. How weird, this timing.

A cynical person may think that AT&T are being huge fucking scumbags here. Really, they’re just “streamlining” their plans. Just like when they “streamlined” their plans by removing unlimited data a few months back.

It’s all in the name of what’s best for the consumer. What class acts. 

Good retort by Ben Brooks on my post yesterday about Facebook Messenger. 

I definitely agree that the combination of SMS and iMessage into one app is killer. That idea led to this initial post a while back.

But I also recognize that Messenger (or something like it) has greater potential because it’s cross-platform, whereas iMessage is iOS-only. As much as it pains me to say it, there’s always going to be a huge market outside of the iPhone. That’s just the way it is.

iMessage may very well slowly kill SMS on the iPhone, but to truly kill it, we need a cross-platform solution. Of all the ones I’ve seen, Messenger is the most compelling yet because of its seamless integration of three key areas: iOS/Android/Web.

Plus it comes with a massive installed user base. This is often overlooked in “SMS killers” and “email killers”. To kill massive things, it’s much easier to start out massive. That’s not to say a startup (a true startup, not Facebook) can’t disrupt an industry, but right now in a space like group messaging, there’s too much fragmentation. This keeps SMS alive.

That’s also not to say that Facebook Messenger for sure wins here. Certainly, there are plenty of people who don’t use Facebook and don’t want to use Facebook for anything. But with 750 million connected users, it does have the best shot right now.

All I know is that I want SMS dead. For too long it has been a racket keeping the carriers in control. Everyone is now attacking it. I love it.