This article talks about the new feature that Apple is coming out with for the iPhone that will be the essentially the same thing as Blackberry Messenger. If you hook up to a Wi-Fi connection you can send a text to anyone who has an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch for free. This is going to be very troubling to the cell phone companies like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and the others. There is some much revenue each year that those companies collect from the consumers for sending very cheap text messages and they are able to charge so much for those services. Texting generates revenue around 20 Billion dollars a year. As the technology grows and more and more people make the switch to an apple product it’s going to have a bigger and bigger effect on the cell phone companies. BBM is the main feature that keeps most people from switching from Blackberry to an iPhone.
This technology that Apple is implementing into their products is actually coming out tomorrow Oct, 12. It could potentially with time be something that greatly changes how much people are going to have to pay for their phone bills. This is going to force the cell phone services to act and make something in their package or whatever it is to compete with Apple iMessage. It’s only going to be more beneficial to the customers because whatever the cell phone companies come out with is going to have to be cheaper than what we have now. Its not going to instantly eliminate phone bills instantly because its for right now limited to Wi-Fi connection but if more people make the switch the consumers will then realize they don’t need to buy unlimited texting. These companies cannot just stand back and let all this revenue just float out the door.
You can also make the argument that this technology will not have too much effect of the major phone service providers because iMessage is so limited with needing Wi-Fi and its only basically, for phone purposes at least, to other iPhones. It could be a feature that sounds very exciting when it first comes out and then doesn’t really get much use, but as we have seen in the past Apple does not usually come out with too many duds. When they start up one of their ideas they usually do a pretty good job with it. It has the potential to go far if it opens up to being able to text more devices than just Apple ones. I don’t know if there is a way to get away from needing Wi-Fi because that is the part that makes it free because you are not sending a text the way it is normally sent through the data network, but there could be.
Just to show an early effect that the iMessage has had already before even being released is that RIM’s stock has already dropped way down and these are the people that make the BBM. Its amazing how RIM came out with the product well before Apple and Apple is still seems to be more successful and forcing every competitor around them to evolve.