dslreports logo

story category
Push IM Clients Challenge SMS
Who needs to pay 20 cents bi-directionally for 160 bytes?
by Karl Bode 04:47PM Tuesday Jun 23 2009
Looking at the big picture long term, it's not hard to see how truly open smart phones on truly open networks could make wireless carriers nervous. Mobile VoIP may someday pose more than a passing threat to wireless voice (if carriers ever stop crippling such apps), while text messaging services may ultimately start taking more serious aim at that the wireless industry's true cash cow: SMS and its huge profit margins. Dan Frommer at Silicon Valley Insider notes that AOL's new AIM client for the iPhone could finally be the start of this shift, given it supports Apple's new push technology:
Click for full size
AOL's new AIM app for the iPhone -- available now in free, ad-supported, and $2.99, no-ad flavors -- is the start. It's the first major IM app for the iPhone's new 3.0 software that includes push notifications. What does that mean? It means that when you receive an IM, no matter what you're doing, the iPhone pops up an alert message and a cue to open the AIM app to reply. Just the way text messages show up on the iPhone.
Aside from regulation, there's nothing a broadband ISP executive (wireless or terrestrial) fears more than being a "dumb pipe," over which other service/content companies profit. The fear of lost revenue is why carriers have fought so hard against truly opening up networks and devices, and generally refer to open networks as some kind of unruly wild west where horrible things roam. Push IM clients won't change things overnight, but they may be an early salvo in a much broader evolution.

65 comments .. click to read

Recommended comments


Nitro, WV

2 recommendations

reply to Tomek

Re: Nothing New

said by Tomek:

G1 and blackberry had those services.
And Windows Mobile has had it since what? 2001? I love it when itards are like "omg my phone makes calls now...omg!"