When Apple announced iMessage, the telecom industry was caught by surprise. If anything, virtually all of them heard about iMessage the day Apple (and Scott Forstall, might I add) introduced. The date was June 6, 2011 and this would be Steve Jobs’ last Apple event.
Since then, iMessage has functioned reasonably well. While Apple’s telecom-busting messaging product has had its own ills with service outages, the media has oddly not reported widely like Blackberry’s powerful and still compelling BBM service. Another media bias but there she goes.
My current provider (Rogers) has had to deal with some competition from incumbent carriers like Telus and Bell but also from Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and even Public Mobile. When the new upstart telecom providers entered the Canadian marketplace, most of the “value plans” that the incumbent providers had were priced based on the competition of three incumbent providers.
A value plan back in 2009 included unlimited text messaging for my iPhone 3GS at $10/month. With WIND Mobile advancements on price bundling, Rogers soon found it had to upgrade this value plan to include MMS as part of the same price-point in addition to unlimited GLOBAL texting. The double-blow on global text came as a result of Apple’s iMessage which gives no revenue opportunity to telecom providers since it leverages the Internet and Apple’s own iCloud framework to get things from A to B.
As of today, Ide-coupled the last possible add-on for my wireless plan at Rogers with my iPhone 3GS. Now, I am down to a very basic voice plan and the classic and old 6GB DATA bundle I signed up for (in 2009) before Telus and Bell went HSPA . After Belus (Bell + Telus — google it lol) went HSPA, iPhone data plans magically skyrocketed to equally high price points with no differential whatsoever (things may have changed but I don’t think so).
To cover off any risk of surprise per-use charges, I asked my incumbent provider to block any ability to receive or send SMS text messages by mistake on my iPhone 3GS. Surprisingly, once off the value plan, the pricing was a magical .25c PER text messaging. That’s pure robbery.
I did a few key tests by sending iMessages to other iPhone users and a regular text to someone without an iOS device.
- iMessage successful
- SMS text unsuccessful
In all, I am now saving $20 a month for something I never really needed anymore. Afterall, between iMessage, Facebook Messaging, WhatsApp, Kik and the myriad of other ways to reach someone, the value bundle of $20 to cover unlimited global SMS, MMS, Visual Voicemail and Call Display just had no relevance to me anymore. Heck, I can even get Skype Voicemail for a bargain.
Simply put, this move saved me $240/year for an “add-on”. Seems rich, no? Call it what you want but that’s disruption and when I migrate to a newer iPhone, the game plan will stay the same.
Conclusion: Stop paying for things when there are clear substitutes in the market! We all lives without mobile phones at one point. I’m sure I can survive my add-ons. This is also a signal to Canadian incumbents that the day of high ARPU is over. In markets like Latin America and Asia, ARPU is so low that telecom providers must be innovative and release products quickly to gain revenue and market advantages that North Americans have not had to experience….until now.
- iMessage Is Currently Down, Apple Silent (sporkings.com)
- How To Change Your iMessage ‘Caller ID’ In iOS 6 (appadvice.com)
- iMessage experiencing difficulties as Apple works on fix (slashgear.com)
- iMessage suffering from failed, delayed messages (ipodnn.com)