Carries can't continue capping data when text messages are slowing off. They just can't. Even though it's not even launched yet, iMessage is one of the services being blamed by the CTIA.
According to the wireless trade organisation, in the second half of 2010, only one trillion texts were sent - that's just an 8.7 per cent increase from the previous six months. While it's still an increase, it's also the smallest increase they've ever seen, suggesting instant messaging apps and email are largely to blame.
Obviously carriers are in dire straits over this news, as they make high margins from text messages, charging around 20 cents a text, to $20 a month for an unlimited texting plan. For every dollar spent on texting, carriers are scraping 80 cents for revenue.
Now, intriguingly the WSJ says that Google's actually working on its own Android instant messaging service, similar to iMessage which was announced last week at WWDC. How this will fit in with Google Talk, they don't elaborate on.
Naturally, AT&T believe that texting will still be king, with their senior vice president for data and voice products, Mark Collins, making the valid point that texting allows people to communicate with any device, on any network - whereas the instant messaging services like BlackBerry offers, or Apple will offer, are platform-exclusive. Still smarting over not being told about iMessage, Collins?
There's always Kik Messenger or Whatsapp until then, anyway. [WSJ]