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Apple Just Killed Your Texting Costs

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivers the keynote address at the 2011 Apple World Wide Developers Conference at the Moscone Center on in San Francisco, California. Apple CEO Steve Jobs returned from sick leave to introduce Apple's new iCloud storage system and the next versions of Apple's iOS and Mac OSX.

    Apple: Oh, and one more thing: here's a way to dump your messaging plan and still text your friends.

    SMS providers: Doh!

    Now that the rather large WWDC address is sinking in, one of the highlights for consumers is that Apple, with its new iOS, is allowing users to text one another and bypass their carriers.

    Since SMS is basically pure profit for the telephone companies, this may raise some concerns (hackles?). Especially if the carriers didn't see this feature (disruption?) coming.

    According to Silicon Alley, carriers were not informed that Apple was giving users power over their messaging plans and taking it from the Big Boys. And the inimitable MC Siegler at TechCrunch is feeling the texty love, too, with a "did that just happen?" sort of post.

    Siegler correctly points out that it's not just about the profits, though. It's about positively affecting the process: 

    But it’s not just that iMessages kills SMS because it’s free. It kills it because it’s better. While the sending of photos, videos, and text matches SMS (and MMS), it’s better with iMessage because it’s streamlined and simplified. Plus you can now send contacts and locations. And you can see in real time when someone is typing, responding to your message. And there are delivery receipts. And optional read receipts (so you know if someone has actually read your message). There’s group messaging. Encryption. Etc.

    Sure, the peer-to-peer texting is cool and will no doubt ding the companies, but the fact that Apple just dropped that into the WWDC without so much as a "by your leave" is simply aces. A bit of the derring-do we thought Silicon Valley had forgotten about.