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Wireless carriers reportedly surprised by Apple's iMessage feature

post #1 of 145
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Apple's wireless carrier partners were surprised to learn of Apple's new iOS 5 messaging feature during Monday's WWDC keynote, according to a new report.

iOS 5, which is due out this fall, features a new messaging service, allowing iPad and iPod touch users to "join the conversation." 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.

iMessage will also support delivery receipts and option read receipts, along with secure encryption for text messages. Conversations can also be tracked on multiple devices with the same owner.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball reports that "a well-informed little birdie" told him that "Apples phone carrier partners around the world found out about iMessages when we did: during todays keynote." Gruber's industry sources have been reliable in the past.

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.



iMessage has drawn comparisons to Research in Motion's proprietary BlackBerry Messaging service. Though BBM initially served as a draw to the platform, RIM has struggled as consumers have increasingly chosen Apple's iPhone and Google Android in recent years. AT&T chief Ralph de la Vega said last week that AT&T customers have been "choosing other products rather than traditional BlackBerries."

Apple has at times been at odds with the wireless carriers over new features in the iPhone. Late last year, European carriers threatened to discontinue subsidies for the iPhone after reports emerged that Apple was developing an embedded SIM card that would allow customers to shop for wireless service directly from the Apple store.

A subsequent report suggested that Apple had backed down from its plans because of carrier opposition. The France Telecom CEO said last month that Apple had agreed on a compromise to use a smaller card instead of an e-SIM.

In addition to iMessage, iOS 5 packs 200 new user features and 1,500 new APIs, including an all-new Notification Center, a PC-free design and Newsstand, a new way to purchase and organize newspaper and magazine subscriptions. The free software update will be available for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch (fourth generation) and iPod touch (third generation) this fall, though some features may not be available on all products.
post #2 of 145
I for one will be lowering my SMS plan when iMessage comes around, as I text message back and forth with an exorbitant amount of people who also have iPhones.

What this also means, if that you should be able to send SMS and MMS messages even when your signal is very low, but WiFi might be present. With that, and the added benefit that videos and photos won't be compressed into ugly super low bitrate versions makes this a win win.

That is, except for the husbands who fool around on their wives, but also share an Apple ID with them. They won't like this feature one bit.
post #3 of 145
Hmmmm....so if what Gruber says is true (yeah ok), how does he plan to text his "sources" who don't use iOS devices? I thought this was iOS communication only???
post #4 of 145
Good. They amount of money they get out of it is sick. How is sms any different for data. Shouldnt it be included in data?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's wireless carrier partners were surprised to learn of Apple's new iOS 5 messaging feature during Monday's WWDC keynote, according to a new report.

iOS 5, which is due out this fall, features a new messaging service, allowing iPad and iPod touch users to "join the conversation." 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.

iMessage will also support delivery receipts and option read receipts, along with secure encryption for text messages. Conversations can also be tracked on multiple devices with the same owner.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball reports that "a well-informed little birdie" told him that "Apples phone carrier partners around the world found out about iMessages when we did: during todays keynote." Gruber's industry sources have been reliable in the past.

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.



iMessage has drawn comparisons to Research in Motion's proprietary BlackBerry Messaging service. Though BBM initially served as a draw to the platform, RIM has struggled as consumers have increasingly chosen Apple's iPhone and Google Android in recent years. AT&T chief Ralph de la Vega said last week that AT&T customers have been "choosing other products rather than traditional BlackBerries."

Apple has at times been at odds with the wireless carriers over new features in the iPhone. Late last year, European carriers threatened to discontinue subsidies for the iPhone after reports emerged that Apple was developing an embedded SIM card that would allow customers to shop for wireless service directly from the Apple store.

A subsequent report suggested that Apple had backed down from its plans because of carrier opposition. The France Telecom CEO said last month that Apple had agreed on a compromise to use a smaller card instead of an e-SIM.

In addition to iMessage, iOS 5 packs 200 new user features and 1,500 new APIs, including an all-new Notification Center, a PC-free design and Newsstand, a new way to purchase and organize newspaper and magazine subscriptions. The free software update will be available for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch (fourth generation) and iPod touch (third generation) this fall, though some features may not be available on all products.
post #5 of 145
Husbands who fool around do not share their apple id's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhReallyNow View Post

I for one will be lowering my SMS plan when iMessage comes around, as I text message back and forth with an exorbitant amount of people who also have iPhones.

What this also means, if that you should be able to send SMS and MMS messages even when your signal is very low, but WiFi might be present. With that, and the added benefit that videos and photos won't be compressed into ugly super low bitrate versions makes this a win win.

That is, except for the husbands who fool around on their wives, but also share an Apple ID with them. They won't like this feature one bit.
post #6 of 145
I see it as a good thing for the customers, AT&T has been charging $30 every month for unlimited data, but not including text plans. Now we the customers have a slight edge, like when Netflix came out and blockbuster video was still charging late fees for video return rentals. Pretty quick blockbuster couldn't hold late fees over customers anymore
post #7 of 145
This sounds a lot like FaceTime for text. Which is to say it seems like it's using the same basic server setup and network protocols just with considerably lower bandwidth and packet QoS requirements.

PS: The only mention of FaceTime appears to be from Schiller when referring to Lion. I would bet Face will be more prominently mentioned — hopefully with open sourcing — in the September event.
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post #8 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by ny3ranger View Post

Good. They amount of money they get out of it is sick. How is sms any different for data. Shouldnt it be included in data?

Actually if I remember my GSM specs correctly, SMS isn't treated as data per say, it's sent on a bearer channel, so really it costs the carriers nothing, MMS maybe different, but a strait txt msg, pure profit. So I don't doubt they aren't happy but it's not all bad, as Apple's message app I would assume will use your data plan..

They still get their blood, just alittle less...
post #9 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by ny3ranger View Post

Husbands who fool around do not share their apple id's.

Apple ID not required
post #10 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This sounds a lot like FaceTime for text. Which is to say it seems like it's using the same basic server setup and network protocols just with considerably lower bandwidth and packet QoS requirements.

PS: The only mention of FaceTime appears to be from Schiller when referring to Lion. I would bet Face will be more prominently mentioned hopefully with open sourcing in the September event.

I am holding out that iMessage will have a button to initiate a Facetime session. Even better, can iMessage provide some form of 'presence' indication so I can know when I can Facetime with others (that is, they have WiFi connectivity, not just 3G connectivity). Or, perhaps get the carriers to allow Facetime over 3G.
post #11 of 145
Apple needs to release an Android client for this. Too many people I know do not have iPhones.
post #12 of 145
Screw the carries. Take spectrum currently used for voice, divert all of it to lte and let us use whatever we please for phone and text messaging be it skype or imessage. Dedicated voice and SMS is dead, the carriers need to adjust to that.
--SHEFFmachine out
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post #13 of 145
That while the early bird gets the worm, the second mouse gets the cheese.

Traditional carriers: you've had your fun. Our turn now.
post #14 of 145
iMessage will only work if you are trying to text to another iOS device. What if the other device does not have iOS (most do not have iOS)? What if you don't know if the other side has iOS? Wireless Carriers offer a ubiquitous texting service...which is easy to use, always on, and works with any texting device.

Apple is trying to lock in people to their architecture.....just like Google is. This is starting to get dangerous.
post #15 of 145
Wait.... *trying to find sympathy for the wireless carriers*, nope, nothing. Suck it Verizon, AT&T et al.
post #16 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

iMessage will only work if you are trying to text to another iOS device. What if the other device does not have iOS (most do not have iOS)? What if you don't know if the other side has iOS? Wireless Carriers offer a ubiquitous texting service...which is easy to use, always on, and works with any texting device.

Apple is trying to lock in people to their architecture.....just like Google is. This is starting to get dangerous.

If you are not an iOS user you don't deserve to get texts from me. Upgrade or be content with boring phone calls
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post #17 of 145
Gruber also said,

Quote:
It also means iPhone users with iPhone-using friends and family no longer need SMS. Ill cancel my SMS plan as soon as this ships.

I am an iPhone user with iPhone-using family and friends. But not ALL of them use iPhones. I (and I would think he) would still want the ability to text those people.

Also, don't forget that iMessages can work over Wi-Fi and bypass the carriers altogether. I don't think they will be THAT upset. Unless Apple makes it an open standard that other phones could use. Now that would be sweet.
John
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post #18 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Screw the carries. Take spectrum currently used for voice, divert all of it to lte and let us use whatever we please for phone and text messaging be it skype or imessage. Dedicated voice and SMS is dead, the carriers need to adjust to that.

And you think what you are asking to do is easy? Go ahead and let me know how it goes for you....
post #19 of 145
It's nice to see some real pressure on SMS. I might be able to cancel my SMS plan by the time I need to re-up my subscription, because everybody I regularly message will be on iOS by then.
post #20 of 145
DOD for me. I text way too many people who don't use iDevices. Now if your iCloud account gave you a free phone number....now we're talking.
post #21 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Apple needs to release an Android client for this. Too many people I know do not have iPhones.

Oh, yeah. That's happening this side of 1994, that's for sure.

The idea behind iMessage is that in less than a year, too many people you know won't have anything but iOS devices.

Listen to me. Apple has given everyone on the planet free infinite texting.

If that doesn't instantly appeal to the younger scene, I don't know what does.

Seriously, I really don't know what appeals to kids these days. Do they still text out the wazoo? Then their parents will buy them iOS devices so they don't have to pay out the ear for texting plans. And then they'll get them for themselves so they can message back and forth.

Free text. Images. Video. FREE. INFINITE. The carriers are dead.

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post #22 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuzumu View Post

Wait.... *trying to find sympathy for the wireless carriers*, nope, nothing. Suck it Verizon, AT&T et al.

Yep, they brought it on to themselves. Other than the $5 plan I refused to pay for the higher text upgrade plans and used WhatsApp for years. I can take a few texts from no iPhone users out of the base 200 I get with the $5 plan. This will make it that much more easier for me to avoid going over my limit.
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post #23 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateScreenNames View Post

I am an iPhone user with iPhone-using family and friends. But not ALL of them use iPhones. I (and I would think he) would still want the ability to text those people.

It seems pretty hard to turn off texting completely. There was a time when I wanted to do that, but never figured out how to do so. You can still text those people. You will probably be able to get away with a less expensive plan, or pay the a la carte rate, so you're not really cutting yourself off from anyone.
post #24 of 145
iMessage or something that can join it "conversation" built for Macs would be nice too.
post #25 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Apple is trying to lock in people to their architecture.....just like Google is. This is starting to get dangerous.

Does Apple require that you use iMessage? Or only in some paranoid portion of your brain?
post #26 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dman624 View Post

I see it as a good thing for the customers, AT&T has been charging $30 every month for unlimited data, but not including text plans.

Hate to burst your bubble, but Unlimited Data, unless your grandfathered in has been non-existent for the the past year on AT&T.
post #27 of 145
There are apps such as TextFree that allow free texting to anyone, but for foreign texting, they either don't work, or you have to pay fees. Maybe that will change, but this seems good to text my daughter who is in the UK when in school.
post #28 of 145
Carriers need to know they can have an edge over the customers but not Apple. Playtime is over. I think the carriers should also be concerned about iCloud. It's a message from Apple telling them the standard they're setting for this year and that they better be fair (pricing) and ready (capacity).
post #29 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Apple needs to release an Android client for this. Too many people I know do not have iPhones.

There is WhatsApp and it works on iPhones (not iPads or iPods for a stupid reason by the developer), Android, BBs, and others. However, their messages and app are slow.

iMessage is basically iChat for iOS.
post #30 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Apple needs to release an Android client for this. Too many people I know do not have iPhones.

For which version of Android should Apple create a specific client?
post #31 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

iMessage will only work if you are trying to text to another iOS device. What if the other device does not have iOS (most do not have iOS)? What if you don't know if the other side has iOS? Wireless Carriers offer a ubiquitous texting service...which is easy to use, always on, and works with any texting device.

Apple is trying to lock in people to their architecture.....just like Google is. This is starting to get dangerous.

*sigh* Ohh GOD! Here comes the tin foil hat brigade.

It has everything to do with competition with BB and you aren't obligated to use iMessage. Sure Apple would love for you to use their services. What company doesn't want you to use their services so they can make money off of you?
post #32 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

You will probably be able to get away with a less expensive plan, or pay the a la carte rate, so you're not really cutting yourself off from anyone.

Right, and I think I will use iMessages all the time. But Gruber seems to think he can drop SMS altogether. I just don't see that happening. Granted I'm not in his shoes but I doubt every person he would ever text is using an iDevice.

Still, this is a step in the right direction. I think over time we will see standard SMS slowly fade away. No complaints from me.
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post #33 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

There are apps such as TextFree that allow free texting to anyone, but for foreign texting, they either don't work, or you have to pay fees. Maybe that will change, but this seems good to text my daughter who is in the UK when in school.

Not true. I am able to text back and forth from Europe to the US, and vice versa, without charge.
post #34 of 145
It may have been a surprise, but with the way carriers are moving, tiered data, the consumer has to get some savings somewhere.

A few things that this will affect:
1. price of tiered data (carriers want money and this will case them to lose revenue on messaging)
2. it could hint at upcoming changes that Apple is trying/going to make (there's been a lot of talk about buying from Apple and having carriers compete or additional carriers/a true world iPhone)
3. carriers realize the money is in data, so they are moving to tiered data (T-mobile slows you down and Sprint has yet to change, but it's only a matter of time before they move in that direction or add additional charges onto phones, like they have in the past)
4. the implications of the article don't make sense, how many people are only going to use only WiFi? they might use mostly WiFi, but not all WiFi, meaning that the carrier is going to get data usage meaning that megabyte plan won't work and people will sign up for higher tiered plans, so that they don't go over (more data usage, which is what tiered data is for)
5. iMessage doesn't completely replaced what we're use to (not everyone has an iPhone or iDevice and an iPod Touch needs WiFi or a hot spot or some sort of internet connection)
6. Even Verizon showed that they benefit from a partnership with Apple (Carriers need Apple, so ultimately they won't be mad or threaten anything)
7. Text and other messaging is essentially given away, depending on how much texting you do, you pay only a fraction of what you would without the added feature (pay a fee, get unlimited messaging)
post #35 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh, yeah. That's happening this side of 1994, that's for sure.

The idea behind iMessage is that in less than a year, too many people you know won't have anything but iOS devices.

Listen to me. Apple has given everyone on the planet free infinite texting.

If that doesn't instantly appeal to the younger scene, I don't know what does.

Seriously, I really don't know what appeals to kids these days. Do they still text out the wazoo? Then their parents will buy them iOS devices so they don't have to pay out the ear for texting plans. And then they'll get them for themselves so they can message back and forth.

Free text. Images. Video. FREE. INFINITE. The carriers are dead.

I'd bet the carriers will certainly not advertise that feature at their stores. i may seriously reconsider my texting plan since most of my text messages are sent to folks with iPhones.
post #36 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Apple needs to release an Android client for this. Too many people I know do not have iPhones.

Computer says no.
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post #37 of 145
Down in the Antipodes, our plans include sms in our c.$350-500+ caps, so it's not going to make a huge difference to us - except for those who send dozens of the things per day! But it's nice to have an easy native alternative, as most of my friends either have iPhones or dumb-phones I'll use this for the former and regular sms for the latter.
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post #38 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

*sigh* Ohh GOD! Here comes the tin foil hat brigade.

It has everything to do with competition with BB and you aren't obligated to use iMessage. Sure Apple would love for you to use their services. What company doesn't want you to use their services so they can make money off of you?

Thank you. It becomes so irritating reading the rants about how some new feature doesn't do exactly what that person wants. These same people will love it a year from now. As others said, NOBODY is forcing you to use iMessage or an iOS device. You are choosing to.

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post #39 of 145
How is this different from something like Textie? Am I missing something here? Textie has the extra ability to send free texts to non-iPhones.
post #40 of 145
Awesome. The carriers get what they deserve for charging extra for SMS. Serves them right. Now we don't need to be nickel'd and dime'd by them.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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