Free Texting Apps: Great For You, Scary for Carriers

As part of a continuing wave of profit-eating options to regular text messaging plans, Apple is set to release its new free iDevice-to-iDevice texting app called iMessage as part of an update to its mobile operating system.  Essentially, it allows Apple doodad owners to send and receive messages with text, photos and video to each other over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.

Now we’ve reported on this phenomena before, as it was hitting Europe in 2010 and the wireless carriers here were really praying no one in the US would notice.  Why do they care?  More than two trillion text messages are sent each year in the United States, generating more than $20 billion in revenue for the wireless industry. Verizon Wireless alone generates as much as $7 billion a year in revenue from texting, or about 12 percent of the total, and texting brings in about a third of the operating income.  So you can bet that they won’t be happy that Apple is offering customers an easy detour around those fees.

So as part of your company’s wireless expense management plan, this can be a very good thing.  Blackberry has offered a similar service for years, keeping their clients happy and loyal.  Now the options are expanding, so be sure to watch how that might impact your telecom budget and your options….

The New York Times has a good article, Free Texts Pose Threat to Carriers, so you can find out more…