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Published on October 9th, 2009 | by Babar Bhatti


iPhone MMS – What is the Big Deal?

One of the early complaints about iPhone have been the missing multimedia messaging (MMS) feature. It took about 2 years to roll MMS out and one of the reason is said that AT&T was not ready to support that level of network traffic. Apple had to provide the software to support MMS as well. Well, now that MMS has been officially released worldwide, what does it tell the usage of MMS and the traffic tell us?

One of the interesting thing is that MMS as a general feature has been slow to take off. We discussed it here. Now that iPhone has support for MMS, there is additional info about the reasons and the problems associated with MMS. Cost and interoperability are two major factors. With AT&T, the price for messaging is included in the SMS messaging plans so its not a big deal. Interoperability and reliability of sending/receiving messages remains a concern.

Personally, I have been facing issues with sending messages on AT&T network after the MMS roll out. Even plain SMS messages have been failing and that almost never happened before. Here’s a quote from Computer World.

In 2008, MMS made up just 2.5 percent of all messages sent from phones worldwide, meaning about 97.5 percent were SMS text messages, according to ABI Research. ABI expects the MMS share to grow to just 4.5 percent by 2014.

Given the amount of data that iPhone fans are already using on AT&T’s network for Web browsing, video, e-mail and social networking, it would take quite a popularity breakthrough for MMS to drag down the infrastructure through sheer traffic, analysts said. However, the carrier’s fears in one respect may have been justified, said ABI analyst Dan Shey.

Several factors have dampened the popularity of MMS, according to analysts and industry observers. A big one is that the messages still don’t always get through.

Related articles of interest:

Well, among all the recent upgrade to iPhone software, my favorite remains cut and paste its nice to get multi media messaging – let’s see when it actually works!

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