As part of iOS 5, apple will launch iMessages, a free service that will allow unlimited texting without SMS. The downside is that it will only be available to users of iOS 5. The upside? There are over 200 million of them.
This is huge. Can you imagine the savings families will have on their phone bills if they all use iPhones? AT&T and Verizon make millions off of SMS and they have no recourse.
But itís not just that iMessages kills SMS because itís free. It kills it because itís better. While the sending of photos, videos, and text matches SMS (and MMS), itís better with iMessage because itís 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). Thereís group messaging. Encryption. Etc.
Where I am, unlimited texting is pretty much standard as part of any reasonable phone package, it's not something we pay discretely for. Couldn't get a reasonable data plan without it. So not sure if there are any savings to be had since you'll probably have to have a data plan to use it anyway.
I expect that it's not SMS that Apple's going to kill with this though. It's Blackberry's BBM service they're looking to kill.