It also means iPhone users with iPhone-using friends and family no longer need SMS. Iâ€™ll cancel my SMS plan as soon as this ships.
iMessage, a new feature in iOS 5 that was announced today, allows unlimited SMS-like messaging among iOS devices such as the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad. What type of messages? Text, photos, videos, location information, and contact information with delivery and read receipts, typing notification, secure encryption, and the ability to send to a group. iMessage combined with apps like KaKaoTalk will mean that I won’t need to spend anything to text anyone.
The service iMessage works over both Wi-Fi and the cellular network, and is unlimited and free. Text messaging, while often bundled with other cell phone services, is seldom free and only sometimes unlimited. Using MMS services almost always costs more money on top of that, and text messaging doesnâ€™t have delivery receipts or work across multiple devices simultaneously.
BlackBerry users have been waiting for something like iMessage for some time and with iOS 5 there will be one less reason for not only BlackBerry users but enterprises to adopt the iPhone. I foresee the decline of BlackBerry’s market share in mobile operating systems to accelerate soon after iOS 5 becomes available.