Texting Declines Thanks to Apple iMessage

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Though your teenager’s texting habits might suggest otherwise, text messaging is on the decline, according to a new report.

During the third quarter, “there was a decline in both the total number of messages as well as the total messaging revenue in the market” for the first time in western markets, according to tech analyst Chetan Sharma.

That doesn’t mean people are sending fewer messages, however. Sharma attributed the decline to “the rise in IP messaging” – like Apple’s iMessage and RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger.

With Apple iMessage, any iDevice running iOS 5 or above can send messages to fellow iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch users without digging in to their text message allotment. Messages sent as texts will show up green, while iMessages will be blue. If the iMessage network is jammed or down for some reason, your message will be sent as a regular text message.

Given the growing number of iPhones in the western world, it’s likely that Sharma’s data illustrates a shift from text to iMessage rather than a decline in messages overall.

Sharma said the U.S. has thus far “resisted” a decline in net revenue for messaging.

“It might be early to say if the decline has begun or the market segment will sputter along before the decline takes place,” he wrote. “As we had outlined in our fourth wave paper, once the market segment reaches the 70-90 percent penetration mark, the decline begins and we might be seeing the start of the decline in messaging revenue.”

By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag


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