How iMessage is Killing the Text Message

How iMessage is Killing the Text Message

Among the compelling new features introduced by Apple in iOS 5 is iMessage – a new platform for sending free messages between iOS devices. And as suspected when the service was unveiled, it appears to be hitting carriers right where it counts.

Many users have found that iMessage is greatly reducing the number of carrier text messages that they send, and according to Jenna Wortham of The New York Times Bits blog, it’s beginning to disrupt text messaging and affect wireless carriers in a big way.

From January through October of last year, the average number of texts I sent hovered around 7,000 a month. But in November, that figure dropped to 5,910. In December, it dipped sharply again, to 4,893. My voice minutes slipped as well, from 993 minutes in October to 846 in November and down again to 587 minutes in December.

But Wortham is certainly not the only one seeing such a difference. My own text message usage has dropped from an average of 900 messages last June to just under 300 – and many iPhone users I’ve spoken with about the matter have reported similar results.

If you ask me, it’s about time. Carriers are making way to much cash from text messages. Texts cost practically nothing to wireless carriers, yet carriers charge up to $0.20 per message for SMS, or up to $30 per month for unlimited messages.

Nearly all text messages are less than 1 kilobyte in size – if you sent 10,000 text messages, you’d have used 10 megabytes or less of data. $30 is a hell of a price to pay for 10 megabytes of data. It’s a racket, and it needed to be disrupted.

What about you? Have you noticed a significant decrease in text message since Apple’s iMessage rolled out?