Apple's iMessage causes decline in U.S. text messaging, report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple's iMessage, as well as other data-based messaging apps, reportedly caused the first drop in U.S. text messaging in years, and the downward trend may continue as more wireless subscribers switch to smartphones.

iMessage


Mobile analyst Chetan Sharma on Monday published a report saying that texting was down in the third quarter of 2012, with users sending 678 texts per month, down from 696 texts per month for previous quarter.

As noted by The New York Times, the decline is small but noteworthy as the amount of SMS text messages has seen continuous growth up to this point. The change puts the U.S. in line with most western markets, which have experienced texting revenue declines as more subscribers have switched to data-based messaging.

Unlike texts, which usually come bundled with cellular service subscriptions, apps like Apple's iMessage and Facebook's Messenger use data, which can amount to considerably less cost due depending on the data plan. For example, smartphone users who have unlimited data can basically do away with texting completely as long as the people they are messaging have compatible data-based apps.

While Sharma said it's too early to estimate whether the texting market will continue the decline for U.S. carriers, he noted that data-based messaging has slowly been replacing conventional messaging as the number of smartphone users rises.

The possible move away from texts doesn't necessarily mean a decline in earnings for U.S. telecoms, however, as Sharma noted that of the top three carriers, some 45 percent of revenue per customer is made from mobile data accounts. For example, AT&T in July announced its shared data plans that lock in subscribers to tiered data allotments ranging from 1GB for $40 per month, to 20GB for $200 a month, not including the per-smartphone fee which itself costs $30 to $45.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Do any major carriers, besides AT&T, still charge for SMS on phone plans?
  • Reply 2 of 54


    Surely the carries don't recoup any lost revenue with some BS charge or fee. 

  • Reply 3 of 54
    Will they integrate iMessage more seamlessly into the phone function? Why not have an onscreen button to compose texts, or simply speak your message and Siri takes over?

    Clean, efficient [I]speech-to-text-to-speech[/I] is the way to go.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,397member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    Do any major carriers, besides AT&T, still charge for SMS on phone plans?




    Yup. I'm limited to 500 TXTs/month on mine on Verizon (which I pay a monthly rate for).... ...after which a pricey surcharge/TXT kicks in.  (FYI, this is on my dumb phone plan - too damn much net in my life already. Tho' I'm finally likely to cave soon.)

  • Reply 5 of 54
    Less than 700 texts?! I send 7,000 on a low month! I hit 16,000 in June. I literally did more than 1,000 in a day a few times. How can you only do like 700 texts?!
  • Reply 6 of 54
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Will they integrate iMessage more seamlessly into the phone function? Why not have an onscreen button to compose texts, or simply speak your message and Siri takes over?

    Clean, efficient speech-to-text-to-speech is the way to go.


    You mean like tap the microphone button then speak what you want converted?


    Or how about, "Send Larry a text I will meet you at the game at 5"

  • Reply 7 of 54
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bettaboy123 View Post



    I literally did more than 1,000 in a day a few times.


    You do realize that 1,000 txts a day is one txt every 86 [corrected] seconds for 24 hours straight?

  • Reply 8 of 54
    There's this really great hidden feature on most of today's smartphones that many don't know about called Speak-to-Talk. It's actually been a standard feature on most phones for quite a while now because the FCC won't let you brand your device as a 'phone' if it does not include this feature.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    bigpics wrote: »

    Yup. I'm limited to 500 TXTs/month on mine on Verizon (which I pay a monthly rate for).... ...after which a pricey surcharge/TXT kicks in.  (FYI, this is on my dumb phone plan - too damn much net in my life already. Tho' I'm finally likely to cave soon.)

    Interesting. The only plans I saw when signing up for my iPhone 5 on Verizon back in September were unlimited voice and SMS. Once iOS 5 came out, to wit iMessages, I completely dropped SMS from my AT&T plan and vowed never to pay for it again. Technically I'm paying for it with my Verizon plan but I'm not actively paying a separate fee for it. if I had to do that again I'd call the carrier and have it completely removed again.
  • Reply 10 of 54
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Less than 700 texts?! I send 7,000 on a low month! I hit 16,000 in June. I literally did more than 1,000 in a day a few times. How can you only do like 700 texts?!

    There are other things people can do with their time. I have a 200 text plan and I've exceeded it once.

    mstone wrote: »
    You do realize that 1,000 txts a day is one txt every 8.6 seconds for 24 hours straight?

    Every 86 seconds by my calculations. Better, but still a stunning number.
  • Reply 11 of 54
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bettaboy123 View Post



    Less than 700 texts?! I send 7,000 on a low month! I hit 16,000 in June. I literally did more than 1,000 in a day a few times. How can you only do like 700 texts?!




    There are other things people can do with their time. I have a 200 text plan and I've exceeded it once.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post



    You do realize that 1,000 txts a day is one txt every 8.6 seconds for 24 hours straight?




    Every 86 seconds by my calculations. Better, but still a stunning number.


    oops! yes

  • Reply 12 of 54
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bettaboy123 View Post



    Less than 700 texts?! I send 7,000 on a low month! I hit 16,000 in June. I literally did more than 1,000 in a day a few times. How can you only do like 700 texts?!


     


    I do zero texts: I refuse to pay the absurd cost, whether it be of a plan that includes texts, or per message.


     


    What do I do instead? I use the fance new voice support that phones have :p And email.


     


    (And yes, maybe twice a month, someone texts me for a legitimate reason and I’m fine with the 20 cents (or free if iMessage). But the need for it is very rare in my case.)


     


     




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    Will they integrate iMessage more seamlessly into the phone function? Why not have an onscreen button to compose texts, or simply speak your message and Siri takes over?

    Clean, efficient speech-to-text-to-speech is the way to go.


     



    There’s a big “Send Message” button in almost all sections of the phone app: in Favorites, in Recents, in Contacts, and even in Voicemail. Just choose the contact and find that button at the bottom. (You can send emails and get map directions too.)


     


    And text-to-speech always works for texting too. Siri will fire off an SMS without even launching the Messages app.

  • Reply 13 of 54
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post





    Every 86 seconds by my calculations. Better, but still a stunning number.


    oops! yes



    We have unlimited txt on our phones which we should probably change since we are on iMessage now.

  • Reply 14 of 54
    wardcwardc Posts: 150member


    I will go days without even touching my phone. I don't text, I just don't - a phone is for voice communication. If I wanted to "text chat" I would use AIM on my computer, a physical keyboard is much better to type on than a little touchscreen phone display with a fake digital keyboard.

  • Reply 15 of 54
    Little OT.

    It's incredible to see how much money you guys pay for cellular data in the US.

    Here in Barcelona (Catalonia - Europe) I pay 9€ per 1GB and all the calls for 0.01€ per minute
    So, basically I end up paying about 15/18€ a month counting data, calls and VAT, using my iPhone 5 constantly in 3G.

    Here some examples:

    http://www.pepephone.com/tarifas/?xsid=XSIDB27VZWIB1K36W8C96RPYJBF0NV5C

    http://tuenti.com/movil
  • Reply 16 of 54
    jakebjakeb Posts: 559member


    All I do is text/data, If I could get a plan with no bundled minutes, just pay-as-you-go, I'd do it. 

  • Reply 17 of 54


    I'm reading the tea leaves and I see AT&T charging users to use iMessage on their iDevices. AT&T is one of the only companies that, through their actions, show complete disdain for their customers. 

  • Reply 18 of 54

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jakeb View Post


    All I do is text/data, If I could get a plan with no bundled minutes, just pay-as-you-go, I'd do it. 



     


    Technically on Verizon you can take your LTE iPad SIM once it's activated and move it to a phone, it works, people have done it. All calls will instantly fail though. May not be a good idea in an emergency. 


     


     


    I like iMessage as an SMS replacement when I can, but notifications are a big gripe. Why when I use my mac for iMessage is my phone's notifications still going off nearly every time. It just drains the battery in a hurry. I must admit, the way Google handles Talk and staying with only the active device is much better. 

  • Reply 19 of 54
    When I return to the US in the spring I refuse to pay AT&T $20 for texting. Most of my friends have iPhones and if not there's Kakao and What's App that are just fine.
  • Reply 20 of 54



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    I'm reading the tea leaves and I see AT&T charging users to use iMessage on their iDevices. AT&T is one of the only companies that, through their actions, show complete disdain for their customers. 



     


    "AT&T will offer [iMessage] over Cellular as an added benefit of our new Mobile Share data plans, which were created to meet customers’ growing data needs at a great value. With Mobile Share, the more data you use, the more you save. [iMessage] will continue to be available over Wi-Fi for all our customers."


     


    See what I did there?

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