iMessage causes decline in text messaging

Though that’s a small dip, the change is noteworthy because for several years, text messaging had been steadily growing in the United States. Mr. Sharma said it was too early to tell whether the decline here would continue, but he noted that Internet-based messaging services, like Facebook messaging and Apple’s iMessage, had been chomping away at SMS usage. He said the decline would become more pronounced as more people buy smartphones.

At this point, I think there is only one person that I’ve texted in the past couple of months — everyone else has been an iMessage. I’ll admit, I’m not sad to see the carriers get screwed with lost revenue after making us pay exorbitant fees for years.

  • but they aren’t really getting screwed….you cannot really drop text with the new VZW or AT&T plans and enough people have android, that unless you’re google-ing out, they still collect that 20 or 30 dollars per month…but I totally get your point.

    • Dennis Madrid

      I totally agree, and I look forward to the day when I can stop paying for stuff I don’t use. Given that the carriers know the most about their own usage numbers, it makes sense that both AT&T and Verizon grouped it all together when they did. They saw this coming.

  • imthedude

    You leave out a large part. SMS and MMS are completely antiquated technologies with character limits, and extremely slow sending of images/videos. Time moves on, except for large companies who continue to milk people for every cent they have.

  • a_dg

    I’d like to see this dip in average number of texts sent, compared to the total number of text-based messages being sent, including iMessages. Before iMessage, I had sent maybe 20 texts, ever. After iMessage, 20 a day. I suspect there are others like me, and who make far greater use of it.

  • obiwandreas

    I don’t begrudge them the SMS fees any more than I begrudge restaurants having a high profit margin on some items (e.g. drinks) so as to be able to maintain lower margins (and therefore prices) on other items (e.g. entrees)

    To set up and maintain a network with the capacity and coverage that people demand requires an insane amount of money. Every step is a bureaucratic nightmare, every new tower is resisted by an army of NIMBYs, and attempting to buy someone else’s capacity gets every economic illiterate’s panties in a twist.

    These companies provide services and capabilities completely unheard of just a few years ago. People who want these services voluntarily purchase them because they believe that they provide value. I fail to see how offering a service that people find incredibly useful constitutes coercion.

    • Your restaurant analogy is interesting. Would you mind being charged more for tap water if it’s served in a champagne flute?

      Data is data.

  • In the UK, ‘unlimited’ texting is becoming more commonplace, as carriers realise they can’t nickel and dime us with SMS bundles anymore, now that we’re all using Whatsapp or iMessage.

  • Exorbitant fees maybe in North America. I work for a carrier in Finland and we offer 1000 minutes, 1000 messages and full-speed data (10GB) for $38/month, no strings attached (long contract periods etc.). For $63 you get “unlimited” voice and text (5000 units each) and full-speed data with 20GB cap. Both options are considered to be expensive in our current market. North America is not the world and carriers need money to build and maintain LTE (which we provide).