The Impact of iMessage

Graph via Neven Mrgan

Neven Mrgan:

Three months into iOS 5, I’m using a trivial quantity of text messages. I currently pay $10/month for up to 1000 messages. Assuming these bill at 20c/message (it varies depending on your plan, I’m told) I could cancel my messaging plan and end up paying less overall, even at that outrageous price. I’ll wait another two months to confirm this massive drop - then it’s time to get all Canceller Valorum on AT&T’s ass.

iMessage is a big deal for the industry, but I'm concerned people haven't quite realized it yet.

As I've argued in the past, iMessage is representative of Apple's growing strength over -- and its increasing exertion against -- wireless carrier control. Bypassing lucrative text messaging for the sake of the user is a noble endeavor, and as Mr. Mrgan has demonstrated here, it is making a sizable impact. Carriers are losing their footing to push back against Apple, and I expect the trend toward consumer-facing benefits will continue.

I know, on a personal scale, iMessage has had an enormous impact on the way I message my friends. I can now text my friends in London for free from my American iPhone, and vice versa. What had once been a cumbersome and expensive process is now wonderfully simple, automatic, and free.

Of course, mileage varies according to the amount of iOS5 users in your respective contact lists, but the far-reaching consequences of this are interesting to consider.