SMS Vs. IM –

I was wondering today just how text messaging is going to change once smart phones become pervasive. I mean really, just how long did the telecoms companies think they could get away with charging people [sometimes 10 cents per message] before an alternative arrived? When you think about it, that’s a lot of money for very little value.

Global SMS Market

Global Worldwide SMS Market

Unfortunately, this curve’s slope is about to change dramatically and in a negative way over the next few years. I expect that we will begin to see a pervasive alternative technology on phones that works similar to chat, thereby avoiding all of the messaging charges. At the same time, since the technology will be on smart phones, it will also need to have all of the existing features of current SMS technology.

While SMS is conveinent on phones today, if it wants to remain viable, it’s going to have to have increased functionality and a much lower cost structure if it wants to remain.

Interestingly, as I’m writing this I find a blog entry under Tech, For SMS, the days are numbered , where the author cites a Gartner study that says by 2012, email will be pervasive enough to replace SMS used on phones today. He really gives the same reasons as I do for the “death” of SMS.

While I would agree that SMS technology is destined to go the way of the analog TV, I am sure the timeframe will be a lot shorter that he thinks. I am convinced however, that SMS will NOT be replaced by email. There will be some of that, but the bulk will be more closely aligned with SMS or IM than it is with email.

I’m afraid that email will asle go the way of the analog TV in the not too distant future. Email as it is today is clearly not the communication choice for the current generation or anyone thatkeeps real current with technology. It has far too many negative, is slow, cumbersome, and lacks features like presence detection that IM has. Further, with any of these technologies, documents can be easily sent and in some cases it’s cleaner and easier than email.

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