It seems that the carriers are less than impressed with Steve Jobs’ latest software offering.
The new iMessage instant-messaging feature for iOS devices, much like Blackberry’s BBM, aims to kill off the carriers’ lucrative SMS business and what seems to have surprised everyone is that Apple failed to tell its partners that was what it was doing,
Daring Fireball’s John Gruber’s sources say Apple’s carrier partners only found out about iMessage when Jobs revealed the service on-stage.
If they had known about it earlier they might have had a word or two in Jobs’ ear about how they might not allow the service.
While iMessage does use a data connection, potentially adding to the amount of data allowance each user will require, it could also significantly reduce SMS and MMS use. Aside from cross platform messaging, TechCrunch agrees too – it will be a severe blow.
The iMessage functionality will be an integral part of iOS5, which means that it will be used far more than any SMS service offered by the carriers. True, they already have to compete with similar functionality from Skype but they might not like the idea of being shafted by their own partner who is flogging a phone which is heavily subsidised by their cash.
If Gruber is typical of iPhone users, then they will all cancel their SMS plans the moment iOS5 comes out. That is, if the carriers allow phones to upgrade to the new operating system with iMessage intact.
We are actually with Jobs on this one. SMS technology is extremely out of date and incredibly overpriced. However, as a matter of tact he should have wrestled with his partners before going public with it. He does rather seem to see them as slaves to his latest idea.