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Apple sees 2 billion iMessages sent daily from half a billion iOS devices

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
In its earnings conference call on Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that users send over 2 billion iMessages per day on an iOS ecosystem that has grown to over 500 million devices.

Messages


Cook said that Apple has sold over 500 million iOS devices since the first iPhone was released in 2007, with the latest quarter adding 47.8 million iPhones and 22.9 million iPads to that number.

In addition to Apple's handsets and tablets, sales of the iPod touch brought the total number iOS units sold to 75 million for the quarter.

While the massive 2 billion messages a day is thought to come mostly from iPhones and iPads, Apple also rolled out Messages for OS X which was fully integrated into the desktop operating system with Mountain Lion earlier in 2012. With Messages for OS X, users can connect Apple accounts across all devices to send and receive iMessages from their Macs.

Also announced on Wednesday was a huge increase in the number of iCloud users, which saw a jump from 190 million in October to 250 million as of December.
post #2 of 29
So does that also mean the installed base is 500 million iOS devices?






edit: Clarified
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/23/13 at 4:11pm

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post #3 of 29
I send at least 12 a day myself. I really no longer like communicating with people who don't iMessage.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by WisdomSeed View Post

I send at least 12 a day myself. I really no longer like communicating with people who don't iMessage.

After iOS 5.0 came out I dropped SMS completely from my AT&T account. I'm on Verizon now and it's free but I rarely ever get an SMS.

I even use iMessage to send URLs and images between my iPhone and Mac. I guess I could use Reading List or iCloud Tabs but not until this sentence did I realize I'm doing it wrong.

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post #5 of 29
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
So does that mean the installed base is 500 million?

 

Not the install base for iMessage, but…

post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by WisdomSeed View Post

I send at least 12 a day myself. I really no longer like communicating with people who don't iMessage.

Agreed.

 

But iMessage didn't really become useful to me until Mountain Lion added the full interface to the Mac. Now I can send and reply to text from my MacBook Pro when my phone is in another room or charging.

post #7 of 29
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post
But iMessage didn't really become useful to me until Mountain Lion added the full interface to the Mac. Now I can send and reply to text from my MacBook Pro when my phone is in another room or charging.

 

Absolutely love it. The native computer-to-phone/tablet/music messaging system is a big deal.

 

Now if they'd just merge Messages (iOS and OS X) with FaceTime… 

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


After iOS 5.0 came out I dropped SMS completely from my AT&T account. I'm on Verizon now and it's free but I rarely ever get an SMS.

I even use iMessage to send URLs and images between my iPhone and Mac. I guess I could use Reading List or iCloud Tabs but not until this sentence did I realize I'm doing it wrong.

 

I'm sorry, how does that even work? Are 100% of the people you comunicate with using iPhones? I mean it sounds nice and dandy to drop the text plan, but I don't see how it can be considered a rational or useful move unless you live on Apple's campus and only communicate with people within that campus. 85%+ of my texts go out as standard, and I'm not planning to buy everyone I know an iPhone nor force them to use one. 

post #9 of 29
I use it on my phone, iPad, and Mac. It is much easier to use and I don't have to be tied to my phone.
post #10 of 29
2 billion a day is an enormous figure! what % of all texting is it? i had no idea it was used so much.

i'd love to see the FaceTime number too. i use that myself.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

2 billion a day is an enormous figure! what % of all texting is it? i had no idea it was used so much.

 

Worldwide, about 24 billion texts are sent a day.

post #12 of 29
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post
Worldwide, about 24 billion texts are sent a day.

 

The telecoms' CEOs are right to be having nightmares about Apple. iMessage has been available for HOW long and it's already taken 1/12th the service that SMS provides, but for FREE? My stars.

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

The telecoms' CEOs are right to be having nightmares about Apple. iMessage has been available for HOW long and it's already taken 1/12th the service that SMS provides, but for FREE? My stars.

 

Yep.

 

OTOH, if we think about it, a lot of people now have unlimited texting, but no longer have  unlimited data plans.   And since iMessage uses data, there's still a cost, it's just less obvious.

 

Carriers don't love texts as much as people think, anyway.  Because they're actually phone call pages (think: one second phone call) ... plus they require store and forward servers, and MMS translators... they've become an extra burden on the voice call infrastructure, and can even cause cells to get control channel overload if there's too many going back and forth in a radio routing area.


Edited by KDarling - 1/23/13 at 8:32pm
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I'm sorry, how does that even work? Are 100% of the people you comunicate with using iPhones? I mean it sounds nice and dandy to drop the text plan, but I don't see how it can be considered a rational or useful move unless you live on Apple's campus and only communicate with people within that campus. 85%+ of my texts go out as standard, and I'm not planning to buy everyone I know an iPhone nor force them to use one. 

Pretty much everyone I did speak to directly via text had an iDevice but a couple people I just emailed or called to inform them that I would no longer receive SMS messages, and then also posted a general message on FB and Twitter. I never liked SMS because it's such a huge amount of cost for the customer for so little data and cost for the vendor. At the first signs that I could finally drop it I did, which is about week after iOS 5.0 came out and I was certain pretty much everyone I interact with had updated.

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post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I never liked SMS because it's such a huge amount of cost for the customer for so little data and cost for the vendor. 

 

Note that SMS doesn't use the same resources or path as an internet data connection.  

 

As I commented above, SMS is the equivalent of a short phone call.

 

That's why they're charged like phone calls, starting at ~10 cents (just like a one minute minimum voice call charge) and going down depending on the texting plan you bought (again, just like with voice plans with more minutes).

 

Now, the next question usually is, okay, then why don't they just take away one minute of my voice plan each time I send one?  And yes, that actually would make sense, except for the necessity of the store and forward servers for times that the recipient isn't immediately available, plus the need for a data channel for MMS media.  Still, some merit to that idea.


Edited by KDarling - 1/23/13 at 8:56pm
post #16 of 29
That's 4 iMessages for each device per day. Or, when I send 100, it means 25 people are lonely and have no one to talk to lol
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Note that SMS doesn't use the same resources or path as an internet data connection.  


As I commented above, SMS is the equivalent of a short phone call.


That's why they're charged like phone calls, starting at ~10 cents (just like a one minute minimum voice call charge) and going down depending on the texting plan you bought (again, just like with voice plans with more minutes).

Now, the next question usually is, okay, then why don't they just take away one minute of my voice plan each time I send one?  And yes, that actually would make sense, except for the necessity of the store and forward servers for times that the recipient isn't immediately available.  Still, some merit to that idea.

It doesn't work that way. SMS uses the control channel for data. The control channel between a handset and tower is used to keep the device connected to the network and to setup the call. Once the call is setup the control channel is not used for voice traffic. IOW, SMS piggybacks on the control channel.

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post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I'm sorry, how does that even work? Are 100% of the people you comunicate with using iPhones? I mean it sounds nice and dandy to drop the text plan, but I don't see how it can be considered a rational or useful move unless you live on Apple's campus and only communicate with people within that campus. 85%+ of my texts go out as standard, and I'm not planning to buy everyone I know an iPhone nor force them to use one. 

At my college campus 85% of the people I communicate with have iPhones.

A few actually have bought iPhone 4 because its "free".

Anyway iMessage has been a huge success at expanding the ecosystem. People love seeing blue text bubbles when their communicating with other iPhone users.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It doesn't work that way. SMS uses the control channel for data. The control channel between a handset and tower is used to keep the device connected to the network and to setup the call. Once the call is setup the control channel is not used for voice traffic. IOW, SMS piggybacks on the control channel.

 

Not your fault at all, but this is the kind of pseudo-knowledge that has been spread by really ignorant internet articles with an agenda to "prove" something is "free".   Not even close to true.

 

Yes, the message piggybacks on the control channel, but that's ONLY FOR THE SMALLEST piece, of the final part of an SMS's journey.  

 

It's like saying that a FedEx overnight letter flown across the country doesn't use any resources, because its last fifty feet is just being carried in someone's hand that's not being used for anything else.

 
  • First off, unlike a data connection that is always initiated from the phone and is shunted to the internet ASAP, a text message must traverse (possibly multiple) carrier  resources and use the network to find a particular recipient phone somewhere in the world.

 

  • The text arrives in the recipient's area as a call page (aka a ring for voice calls or a pager message). This uses up extra resources above what data would use, as a page is sent to multiple towers in the last radio network you connected with.

 

  • When the phone receives the page, the message is not there yet. The phone must first authenticate itself to the network and get its own control channel. Then it can receive the control packet with the SMS stuck in it. This has now required 90% of what a phone call does.

 

  • Wait. Not done yet. Then the phone has to acknowledge receiving the text before giving up the channel. If the sender has requested a receipt, this whole process had to now be duplicated in reverse back to the sender.

 

  • If the recipient is offline, the text must be stored and tried later. If the recipient is an email address, the text must be translated and sent over the internet, and vice versa. This all requires carrier resources and computing centers that plain internet data does not need.
     

It's nowhere near free, and it's nowhere near as simple as there just being some kind of magical empty control channel, because there isn't any such thing.

 

Now you know the REAL story!   Cheers!


Edited by KDarling - 1/23/13 at 9:20pm
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Not your fault at all, but this is the kind of pseudo-knowledge that has been spread by really ignorant internet articles with an agenda to "prove" something is "free".   Not even close to true.


Yes, the message piggybacks on the control channel, but that's ONLY FOR THE SMALLEST 
piece, of the final part of an SMS's journey.  


It's like saying that a FedEx overnight letter flown across the country doesn't use any resources, because its last fifty feet is just being carried in someone's hand that's not being used for anything else.

 
  • First off, unlike a data connection that is always initiated from the phone and is shunted to the internet ASAP, a text message must traverse carrier resources and use the network to find a particular recipient phone somewhere in the world.
  • The text arrives in the recipient's area as a call page (aka a ring for voice calls or a pager message). This uses up extra resources already, as a page is sent to multiple towers in the last radio network you connected with.
  • When the phone receives the page, the message is not there yet. The phone must first authenticate itself to the network and get its own control channel. Then it can receive the control packet with the SMS stuck in it. This is 90% of what a phone call does.
  • Wait. Not done yet. Then the phone has to acknowledge receiving the text before giving up the channel. If the sender has requested a receipt, this whole process had to now be duplicated in reverse back to the sender.
  • If the recipient is offline, the text must be stored and tried later. If the recipient is an email address, the text must be translated and sent over the internet, and vice versa. This all requires carrier resources and computing centers that plain internet data does not need.

     
It's nowhere near free, and it's nowhere near as simple as there just being some kind of magical empty control channel, because there isn't.

Now you know the rest of the story.   Cheers.

Look at what you wrote. You said "SMS is the equivalent of a short phone call." I correct you by explaining how there is no "phone call". The phone does not make a call to send the data. It's all sent from the handset and received to the handset via the control channel. This is not debatable! What you're trying to do now is obfuscate the fact that you misrepresented the facts by trying to explain a different part of the process and change the argument and infer I said it was magical or empty. That's not going to happen. SMS data is sent to and from the handset via the control channel. Period.

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post #21 of 29
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Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

People love seeing blue text bubbles when their communicating with other iPhone users.

I'm just glad they finally tied the numbers and email addresses into each global account properly so that people who send to my phone number will also show up on my Mac and iPad. I was surprised Apple hadn't worked that out from the start. Seemed like an odd oversight to me.

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post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post

People love seeing blue text bubbles when their communicating with other iPhone users.

I'm just glad they finally tied the numbers and email addresses into each global account properly so that people who send to my phone number will also show up on my Mac and iPad. I was surprised Apple hadn't worked that out from the start. Seemed like an odd oversight to me.

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post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Look at what you wrote. You said "SMS is the equivalent of a short phone call." I correct you by explaining how there is no "phone call". The phone does not make a call to send the data. It's all sent from the handset and received to the handset via the control channel. This is not debatable! What you're trying to do now is obfuscate the fact that you misrepresented the facts by trying to explain a different part of the process and change the argument and infer I said it was magical or empty. That's not going to happen. SMS data is sent to and from the handset via the control channel. Period.

 

Whoa.  I meant no offense.  I was not saying that you said it was magical or empty.  I only meant that's how it's explained on the internet.   Sorry if that wasn't clear.

 

Yes, I said it's the equivalent of a short phone call.   I was trying to coach it in language that people can understand.  If I weren't in a hurry to get to bed, I suppose I should've said "rough equivalent".   Better?

 

I thought it was clear that I was talking about the carrier resources that were involved, plus the fact that at the destination, almost all of a regular phone call's authentication and setup is necessary, along with even more resources to store and acknowledge receipt... all being details that most people don't know, and certainly never bring up.

 

In other words, just saying it uses "a control channel" to talk to the TOWER, makes it sound like it costs nothing to do.   My point is, that's the smallest part of the journey and resources being used, and yet still requires more than just plopping the message into a blank area.

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I'm just glad they finally tied the numbers and email addresses into each global account properly so that people who send to my phone number will also show up on my Mac and iPad. I was surprised Apple hadn't worked that out from the start. Seemed like an odd oversight to me.

Agreed.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Now if they'd just merge Messages (iOS and OS X) with FaceTime… 

Huh? There already is the FT camera icon in the top right corner of Messages.app. You must mean something that I'm not seeing (duh, what a stupid last sentence)
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post #26 of 29
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post
Huh? There already is the FT camera icon in the top right corner of Messages.app. You must mean something that I'm not seeing (duh, what a stupid last sentence)

 

I mean FaceTime not being a standalone app(lication) at all.

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I mean FaceTime not being a standalone app(lication) at all.

Ah, ok. Well, we could of course delete /Applications/FaceTime.app and Messages as well if they'd integrate it all with the Contacts.app. Why I can't FT from within the Contacts on OSX but can on iOS is also beyond me.

They're slipping ¡
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post #28 of 29
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post
Ah, ok. Well, we could of course delete /Applications/FaceTime.app and Messages as well if they'd integrate it all with the Contacts.app. Why I can't FT from within the Contacts on OSX but can on iOS is also beyond me.

 

I'd like to see a list of my contacts within Messages so that I don't have to type out the name of any of my iMessage contacts every single time.

 

But no, that makes zero sense¡ Apple's not known for doing GUI solutions over keyboard solutions¡

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'd like to see a list of my contacts within Messages so that I don't have to type out the name of any of my iMessage contacts every single time.

But no, that makes zero sense¡ Apple's not known for doing GUI solutions over keyboard solutions¡

1. They really ought to integrate these 3 apps into 1.

2. The more I see the ¡ symbol the more I like it (as a symbol)
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