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  • Report Indicates Apple's iMessage Causes a Decline in Text Messaging in the U.S.


    A new report reveals that Apple’s iMessage as well as other data-based messaging apps, reportedly caused the first drop in U.S. text messaging in years, and the downward trend may continue as more wireless subscribers switch to smartphones. Apparently users are sending 678 texts per month, down from 696 texts per month for the previous quarter, a trend that seems to be continuing overtime.

    As noted by The New York Times, the decline may seem small but is still noteworthy as the amount of SMS text messages has seen continuous growth up to this point. The change puts the U.S. in line with most western markets, which have experienced texting revenue declines as more subscribers have switched to data-based messaging.

    Unlike texts, which come bundled with cellular service subscriptions, apps such as Apple’s iMessage and Facebook’s Messenger use data, which can amount to considerably less cost due depending on the data plan chosen. An example of this would be smartphone users who have unlimited data. These users can basically do away with texting completely as long as the people they are messaging have compatible data-based apps. Mobile analyst, Chetan Sharma said it’s too early to estimate whether the texting market will continue to decline for U.S. carriers, but he did note that data-based messaging has slowly been replacing conventional messaging as the number of smartphone users rises.

    The possible decline of texting doesn’t necessarily mean a decline in earnings for U.S. telecoms, however, Sharma did note that of the top three carriers, some 45% of revenue per customer is made from mobile data accounts.

    Have you noticed yourself using data-based messaging apps instead of text messages recently?

    Source: Chetan Sharma, The New York Times
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Report Indicates Apple's iMessage Causes a Decline in Text Messaging in the U.S. started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. HovikGas's Avatar
      HovikGas -
      Oh yea, the telecoms saw this coming a long time ago. This is why they got rid of their tiered texting plans and only offer unlimited now. Well I'm on AT&T and that's what they did anyway, but if I'm not mistaken, that's the case with the others too.

      Otherwise, everyone would cut back on their texting packages and choose smaller/cheaper ones, but the shareholders wouldn't like that one now would they? I'm still on my $5/200-text a month plan and have been saving myself $15 a month for the past 4 years, haha. Thanks Apple!
    1. FSUkid's Avatar
      FSUkid -
      I've been using Textfree for 3 years and have avoided $20.00 a month from AT&T. That's $700.00 I saved since I don't have a texting plan on my iPhone. Plus Textfree sends me an email of each text.
    1. d_animality's Avatar
      d_animality -
      iMessage Causes a Decline in Text Messaging in the U.S.
      Well i think its WhatsApp that caused a decline in Text Messaging to the whole world!!
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      umm yeah, i send like 1500 messages about 1/4 are actual txts the rest are imessage and kik, whats app.
    1. RandyTG's Avatar
      RandyTG -
      I dropped my text usage to a few a month ever since iMessage became bundled with iOS, as most of the people I know have iPhones. Now I only have a $5 text plan, just in case I need it.
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      Thanks for the free texting Apple..hopefully this will force carriers to offer it for free again :]
    1. PatrickGSR94's Avatar
      PatrickGSR94 -
      Quote Originally Posted by d_animality View Post
      Well i think its WhatsApp that caused a decline in Text Messaging to the whole world!!
      My wife and I used to use WhatsApp and Ping! so that we could save money by only having the $5/200 text plan. But those apps were always slow as hell and buggy on our 3GS phones, which is why I was really glad for iMessage integrated into iOS 5 because it all worked just as well and fast as normal text messages. We still have the $5 messaging plan and haven't gone over the 200 in well over a year.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by bigboyz View Post
      Thanks for the free texting Apple..hopefully this will force carriers to offer it for free again :]
      +1,000,000!!!
      I bet most people on MMI didn't even know that texting used to be free!
    1. Senyaichiya's Avatar
      Senyaichiya -
      I know in a total month previously to iMessage my texts were at an average ten thousand.
      I haven't even checked what it's been since I got an iPhone 4S whoa...a year already?
    1. trevorrawson's Avatar
      trevorrawson -
      Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
      +1,000,000!!!
      I bet most people on MMI didn't even know that texting used to be free!
      Serious!! I remember back when I got my first Motorola and Snake was the greatest mobile game there was. I was able to text for free, problem was hardly anyone could receive them!! The good old days of having to count minutes and wait until 7pm for the unlimited nights and weekends. Until of course they changed it to 9pm.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by trevorrawson View Post
      Serious!! I remember back when I got my first Motorola and Snake was the greatest mobile game there was. I was able to text for free, problem was hardly anyone could receive them!! The good old days of having to count minutes and wait until 7pm for the unlimited nights and weekends. Until of course they changed it to 9pm.
      Hahahahaha! I had Nokias and we used to send 'animated' texts by scrolling down each page! I even got one of those 'Matrix' slider covers for my Nokia 8120! Remember that?!?! ;-)
    1. bmwraw8482's Avatar
      bmwraw8482 -
      Quote Originally Posted by FSUkid View Post
      I've been using Textfree for 3 years and have avoided $20.00 a month from AT&T. That's $700.00 I saved since I don't have a texting plan on my iPhone. Plus Textfree sends me an email of each text.
      An extra 678 emails/mo? Yuck
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      ...now I'm gonna have to charge my Nokia and send pics of the texts I saved!
    1. HovikGas's Avatar
      HovikGas -
      Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
      ...now I'm gonna have to charge my Nokia and send pics of the texts I saved!
      Haha, that would be AWESOME. And I indeed had no idea texting used to be free... That's crazy...