The death of SMS has been greatly exaggerated
1. ATTCallCenter (unregistered)
Death to the machine!
2. Shafeer (Posts: 79; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
SMS will NOT die. I tell you this now. Well it won't in atleast 5 years.
25. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
definately not... and if email shud have, why hasnt it?
37. AustinF1ynn (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Jun 2011)
When phone make 4g default then Video chat will be most of it
3. Gsmalltheway (Posts: 174; Member since: 15 Aug 2009)
SMS will never go away. The good thing about SMS is it doesnt matter what phone you have or what app you dont have, Whatever phone you have you can message whatever phone the other person has. If a blackberry ownwer wants to message an iphone it doesnt matter the the iphone doesnt have bb messanger and vice versa.
4. TheBrizz (Posts: 18; Member since: 24 Sep 2010)
Gsmalltheway, thanks for simply repeating what the article said :)
5. VZW4LIFE (Posts: 34; Member since: 11 Jun 2011)
I agree...Wireless carriers should revise how they charge for SMS service. I think a good idea might be to make SMS a free feature for smart phone customers or customers who opt to subscribe to a data plan on their cell phones. For the customers who choose not to add a data plan (or if their phone doesn't support it,) carriers can continue to sell SMS packages as a stand alone feature.
6. snowgator (Posts: 3547; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
First of all - very good article.
Secondly, I was complaining about the price of SMS about two months ago. I felt the same way this article feels- it is simply a cash cow for the companies. Considering how much pricing for plans have increased, It is very much a huge cow. I won't go as far as to think it should be free. Even at the small portion of data it uses, it is still a high enough volume from all devices on their networks that I am fine with a fee. But there is NO WAY it is relative to the amount they are hitting us for. Slice the prices by 2/3rds, and I am no longer offended.
33. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2696; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Yeah, I've been railing on about SMS fees since I switched to Android (and T-Mobile) back in February of last year. Once I had Google Voice, I couldn't in good conscience pay the ridiculous fees that AT&T was charging for SMS. I'd love to say that GV could be the future, but until Google expands it past the US it's a pointless argument.
7. Joaoakwoa (unregistered)
"including that 3 year old LG feature phone that your grandparents use"
Wow, that's what I call tech-addicted grandparents! My grandmother uses a Nokia from 1999 and my mother uses a Sony Ericsson T610i from 2003 :)
16. JcHnd (unregistered)
LOL, you know how they are... I'm used to have an LG Feature Phone from 3 years ago... when I was reading this I was like... WTH?
9. joey18 (Posts: 589; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)
if they cut sms will be g reat the extra money you will pay for the data ime is fucture sms
11. ibap (Posts: 752; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)
The carriers will, one way or another, find a way to maintain their revenue stream.
The value of SMS is not just that it is on essentially all phones, it is that if you know the phone number, you can send to it. You aren't using yet another address for that person. So what though, if you had to? You have email addresses for a ton of folks. If you had an app that sent to their 'text' address, what would the big deal be? Oh wait - that is what IM was/is.
What is the big honkin' deal? Oh, it's because Apple announced it, so it must be hot stuff. Get a grip.
12. Gawain (Posts: 417; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)
Nice column. Some of your comparisons however seem to fall short though. For example, stating that iMessage/BBM at best could make SMS free, thus everyone would switch to SMS, is reaching. iMessage, and especially BBM, have performance factors that SMS/MMS don't have (even with an app or service like GroupMe).
That aside, I agree completely, SMS is not in danger of dying anytime soon. It's reasonably fast, can reach recipients in spotty coverage and no need for data since SMS rides on a sub-channel of the voice side.
Five or six years down the road may tell a different story. Suppose VZW achieves 100% LTE coverage and begins implementing VoLTE, there will be no "need" for traditional voice channels. That is where SMS in some markets may wither. Even then though, there will be some type of SMS service so that messages to non-LTE/4G markets can still be accomplished.
13. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)
Everything is exaggerated when new technology comes out. People said that Radio will die when TV came out. They also said that landline phones will die when cellular phones came out; Netbooks will die when tablets came out; and now this? Too much exaggeration is bad for your health people. Don't over think things. Of course new technology will chip away market share from old ones, but it doesn't mean that these new ones will totally replace old school stuffs.
14. hieingild (unregistered)
landlines are dead, and what are netbooks??
18. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)
last time I check, landlines are still widely used in Asian countries such as mine. Netbooks are still also used. I guess these "death of old technology" issues are only applicable in developed nations such as USA and European countries.
20. iami (unregistered)
Your just stating the obvious buddy. Death of old technology means no one goes out and buys it anymore. Only people that still use landlines are 70 yrs or older because they are to stuborn to learn anything new. And when you say nations that are more devolped as you put it well then yeah duh!!!!! That is exactly what dead technology means. A developed country who can more easily afford the newer technology will stop buying the old, therefor making the dead technology cheaper for underdeveloped companies us you call them. Its like the old saying ones mans garbage is another mans treasure. Go ahead and say something else to prove us right lol
23. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
its not dead technology if millions of people are still using it regardless if the people are to''lazy'' to change to the new technology. sms will not die until imessage/bbm are cross platforms. not everyone has a smartphone and not everyone needs one. but am all for new technolgy, i myself love to have the fastest and greatest things lol
27. iami (unregistered)
dead technology in the proper term means it is old technology not that it isnt used any more. Millions of people still use record players are you going to tell me that that is not dead technology. It is not mass produced and finding albums is rare. Its old technology and people who can afford the new will get the new. Only ones who use dead tachnology are ones who cant afford or are simply collectors in it for the nostalgia. There will always being someone using some sort of dead technology and that is there choice. By going what you are saying then there is no such thing as dead technology since someone in the world you will always find atleast one person using something made from the twenties even
36. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)
lol guess your right but you know what i am trying to say. as long as sms is on all phones its not gonna dissapear all together.
15. Alex (unregistered)
How about whatsapp messenger? It works on every phone (nokia, iphone, blackberry and android), it's free or almost, works beautifully. Why are you forgetting whatsapp in this equation? It seems to me like it's by far the best option of all and the only thing remotely close to killing text messaging.
30. vette21man (Posts: 351; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)
As the article states, you still need to have the app installed. It isn't native to the phone. And your grandma's feature phone (i.e., non-smart phone) doesn't even have apps. You have a point if there were only smart phones and blackberry's out there. Still, whatsapp costs money, needs to be native to be ubiquitous.
31. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2696; Member since: 26 May 2011)
I didn't intentionally leave out whatsapp, but it falls into the same category as Kik or Beluga. It may be available on all the platforms, but it still has the same limitation of only being useful if everyone actively downloads the app. Anything that people don't already have (e-mail) or comes built-in to a phone plan (SMS), is inherently not as valuable, because you can't guarantee that everyone will have it.
17. The_WB1 (unregistered)
I have complained about the cost of SMS for years. For what you get, the cost was not justified.
Now having an iPhone w/o an SMS plan, I use Google Voice as my SMS carrier. Screw Verizon and their SMS plan. Kill the cost, or reduce it to a minor package feature and I would reconsider it. ANYTHING to break the stranglehold of carrier SMS service is OK by me.
19. Aswad (unregistered)
We got almost free SMS from all of our carriers is Pakistan :)
just imagine 1000 sms for .094 USD ....
and this is most expensive SMS can get here ...we never thought about the alternatives of sms .. actually we don't have to :)
22. phoneguy412 (unregistered)
look if NEXTEL is STILL here as of today...just think about it...we have nothing to worry about
24. Carson (unregistered)
I think SMS should be ditched over the coming years slowly in favor of email as a native system.
I live in Japan, and my phone uses email to communicate. my phones email address goes like firstname.lastname@example.org (softbank is the name of my carrier)
No character limit, allows for native images and attachments (no separate MMS system), allows for emoji and complex non-ASCII characters (required when typing Japanese.. 2000 character writing system), no character limit (yes I know I repeated that). Easy to email myself certain things or attachments between my PC gmail account and my phone.
(I also wish American phones had IR like Japanese phones. Very easy to transfer contact info)
Mobile life and our cellphones are becoming more synonymous with our computers, there should be one universal protocol/system anyway. Standardization.
32. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2696; Member since: 26 May 2011)
That was one of my favorite things about living in Japan: every phone had e-mail built in, and every phone got an e-mail address with a plan.
Not sure American phones need IR though, as Bluetooth can do the same things and more. It would be nice for American phone companies to look past NFC as just a payment system and use it for more interesting things like they do in Japan, such as NFC subway passes.
26. Azzam (unregistered)
well.. have u ever heard of WhatsApp!
it works on iOS, Android, and even Nokia! and its free! so i think that's the universal solution u're looking for
28. jthiagesan (Posts: 104; Member since: 20 Apr 2011)
ok what about someone who has sony or nokia or motorola with a different OS??
29. chuckchizzle (Posts: 8; Member since: 17 Mar 2011)
I dropped the text bundle on my phone. EVERYBODY in my circle does more E-mailing than texting anyway. Yea i send and receive the "where are u" or "What r u up 2" every now and then(or when we are talking about someone in the room)....but just call me for the short things.
34. Nullstring (Posts: 18; Member since: 27 Jan 2010)
shame on you people. my grandmother loves texting!
35. matistight (Posts: 404; Member since: 13 May 2009)
saying sms will die is like saying phone will die now that theres skype and google voice. look at facetime. who has iphone 4s that are your friend. i had like 2 and did facetime with them and skyped while my friend only has their webcam as a camera on their laptop. sms will never die because youve grown up with sms by now. switching would be difficult and some people(like me) enjoy the stock sms app, yet i love whatsapp for android because(like blackberrys terribly do) the mms is shown as a full picture like iphones. Most of the time my phone will show a picture about a fifth of the size of the screen. It did that on my stock G2 and on my HD2(Sense2.1+3.0 rom, android)
38. chestersmudge (unregistered)
WHat about Whatsapp? Already cross platform. Smart phones will rule the world in the next 2 years not five, and then SMS will be dead - although email just as good, not everyone has an email address, but Whatsapp uses phone numbers and hence everyone has one by default..
39. Karn (unregistered)
Well, I think while the SMS is not going to be killed off now, it is in terminal decline. If we look at the number of SMSs being sent, statistics do indicate that the average number is decreasing. In fact, Dutch provider KPN attempted to throttle Skype and WhatsApp traffic because these services were eating into their SMS revenues - which was stopped thankfully.
I think that with smartphones becoming ubiquitous and affordable, people are going to have increasing access to things like WhatsApp, which is cross-platform compatible, solving one of the benefits of SMS. Also, if you think about it, SMS is very expensive compared to sending a message via a chat app, so that financial part will certainly come into consideration.
I wrote my own response here:http://blog.bulsuk.com/2011/07
/obituary-coming-death-of-sms.htmlI'll be published in a week, but I do believe that we are seeing the beginning of the end for SMS.