Apple launched its latest top class operating system, iOS5, on Wednesday afternoon.
iOS 5 includes over 200 features like iTunes and iCloud. The iMessage service let iPhone users send messages with text, photos and video to other iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch users free of charge.
“There’s a big potential issue here,” said Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “The wireless industry makes most of its money from high-priced but low-bandwidth services like voice and text.”
Every year, more than 2 trillion text messages are sent over cellular networks in the U.S. alone. At the moment, wireless carriers charge about 20 cents for sending and then another 20 cents for getting the messages.
Texting is hugely lucrative for the wireless industry. It generated about $21 billion in revenue last year and is estimated to grow to $23 billion this year, according to the Consumer Federation of America.
iMessage uses the carrier’s data network or the Internet via a Wi-Fi connection to transmit the text like email. When users send a text to a friend with iMessage turned on, it shows up as a blue chat bubble and doesn’t count as a text message in their phone plan. Texting someone with an Android or other non-Apple phone will count as a text message and show up as a green chat bubble.
One of the nice features of iMessage is it allows you to set it up with the same email address on multiple devices. You can begin a conversation with someone on your iPhone while you’re out and about, then pick up at exactly the same spot when you get home and use your iPad. Texting takes place virtually instantaneously; I had the above conversation with a TUAW staffer on the other side of the planet, and it was as seamless as you’d expect from a modern IM app.
Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry Messenger is losing credit because of the latest issues expericend throughout the world. The iMessage service will give them a really hard time.
BlackBerry users express more and more the desire of switching to a better service like Apple. The failure of BlackBerry’s service happened at a really bad time. Apple is getting more and more attention from the Tech consumers.
iMessage can send messages to any device that’s running iOS 5. The iPhone remains the only iOS device capable of sending text messages to non-iOS devices.Since there are still so many to non-iOS devices, it doesn’t necessarily mean that iMessage is going to “kill” SMS texting. However, if everyone in your circle of friends has a device running iOS 5, iMessage could very well obviate the need for an unlimited texting plan on your iPhone.