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iMessage is Having an Impact on Texting

Last year the industry wondered if iMessaging—a service Apple introduced as part of its updated iOS 5—would have an impact on texting. With it, iPhone and iPad users can send messages with text, photos and video to other iPhone and iPad users over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.

Now, Bits blog says there is evidence this is actually happening.  It pointed to a post by Neven Mrgan, who collected data on his texting use before and after the iOS 5 launch.  In general, Bits concluded, even though the number of text messages sent by cellphone customers in the United States is still growing, that growth is slowing, and many analysts expect that it will gradually taper off. In addition, "countries like Finland and Hong Kong are already seeing serious shifts in the number of text messages their cellphone customers send."

The BlackBerry Example

However, few expect SMS to disappear or even seriously decline. Mobile Demystified Post noted last year when new stats suggested texting was on its way out, that Blackberry Messenger has been around for ten years or more "and hasn’t yet obliterated people’s need to send text messages. Why? BBM, like the messaging clients from Apple and Google, can only send messages to others within the same network. SMS is (and at this points looks to continue to be) the only cross platform messaging system available to cell phone users. Thus, whenever you want to send a message using a messaging application, you have to know what kind of device your recipient owns. If you’re unsure you use SMS."

Still, as that Apple and Google continue to develop messaging applications—and as their share of the mobile market grows and grows, the viability of SMS as a marketing channel is worth considering.

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