Apple has put a lot of work into developing its own secure messaging platform. With Mountain Lion and the Messages app that Apple rolled out in iOS 5, Apple is setting up its iMessage platform with a lot potential advantages for consumers and business users alike. For business, the always available and secure messaging is huge. Messages and conversations can be found on an employee’s iPhone, iPad, home iMac, work MacBook Air – that’s taking the concept of RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger service to a higher level.
For consumers, the great features are the integration of non-phone devices like the iPad and iPod touch and reduced reliance on carriers for texting, which can translate to cost savings (depending on mobile carrier/plan).
While most of us still use SMS to send text messages, there’s a distinct trend in shifting to using solutions like Apple’s Message platform.
Research firm Analysys Mason recently culled through the use of Internet-based calling and messaging apps for consumers with smartphones and with feature phones. The striking point of their report is that nearly a third of smartphone owners have adopted so-called over-the-top (OTT) messaging solutions like iMessage – 29% of users reported using some type of non-carrier messaging, which likely includes iMessage, BlackBerry Messenger, and other options. 8% of users use both an OTT messaging and VoIP calling solutions.
While that’s a lot of movement to replace texting as a messaging solution, VoIP calling from smartphone is far less popular – only 11% of users report using such technologies from their mobile device.
It seems likely that this is a trend that will continue to grow, particularly among iPhone users. Apple has embedded iMessage into iOS to such an extent that using it take no thought at all.
Ultimately, this presents a conundrum for carriers, who have long been able to use texting as a revenue stream.