back to article iPhone MMS hits US on September 25

AT&T has announced that on September 25th it will begin offering MMS service to its iPhone customers, solving one image problem and exacerbating another. In a brief announcement about the MMS debut, Big Phone says that it's "working relentlessly to innovate and invest in our network to anticipate this growth in usage and to …


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  1. Steve Evans

    Ahhh how sweet....

    Dear America, welcome to the 21st century!

  2. Vision Aforethought

    Sorry, but text messaging is for idiots!

    You buy one of the most advanced phones in the world, and use it to send MMS? What is wrong with email? a) Email is free. b) Email is a reliable proven standard based on over 30 years of development. c) Email is versatile, allowing attachments of significantly larger size and format than MMS. d) Email is not a dubious money maker for the carriers who are duping billions of people across the world by using technology capable of allowing video conferencing to instead send 140 characters of ASCII plus a small bitmap - and then charging them silly money for the privilege.

    Want to stop this madness? Don't text, email. And then Wave goodbye to that too as real time live multimedia sharing replaces email.

    Good night.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Vision Aforethought

    This argument has been put forward many times, and since email is free to use for those with an iPhone, it *should* be a no brainer. Apparently, in the UK at least, grandparents don't understand email and can only use MMS to receive pictures of their cherubic grandchildren and they have to have those images at a low resolution the instant the event happens and that no-one has email enabled phones - and MMS is a 'standard' feature on all other phones, so it *must* be on iPhones otherwise they are shit, like multitasking which is apparently also a 'standard' feature on *all* phones, and as the iPhone handles things differently, it is shit. That's what I understand from the N95/Windows Mobile lot anyway.

  4. Hud Dunlap

    ATT service is bad in general

    I moved from Dallas Tx to San Antonio Tx in June. It took me over 12 hours on the phone, in the store and on the internet to get my service in San Antonio. I couldn't get DSL from ATT. I had to contact a third party who set up a contract with ATT to provide DSl. And no that doesn't make sense. Now hear it is September and I am still trying to straighten out the billing. I can access my Dallas account online, but it is closed but I can't access my San Antonio account.

  5. ZM

    MMS on 3g/3gs

    Will it only be available on those two iPhones, or did they merely have to use the 3G/3Gs terms again?

  6. Steve Evans

    @Simon Banyard

    If the American carriers had sorted out their interconnects like Europe did way back in the 90s, you too would have found what a useful technology the SMS system is, but because the US networks were so unreliable at SMS exchange, everyone resorted to email to send each other messages.

    SMS and MMS are GSM standards, not Nokia/Ericsson or anyone else's.

    A cross network, cross manufacturer, cross country message push system. If you have a mobile number, you can send them a message (with our without a picture). Most phone contracts include a few hundred of these a month, if not unlimited. So there is no cost.

    This cultural difference is one of the reasons the iPhone took so much stick when it first arrived over here. Apple didn't even bother to look at how things were in Europe and only implemented the very basics (any less and they probably wouldn't be able to claim it was a GSM handset!). So when their new wonder phone arrived, couldn't do groups messages, or send picture messages, we all laughed.

    They eventually fixed this, and now these features are revealing the cracks in the underlying US cell system.

    Now wouldn't you like a system where you can send a message to any of your contacts without having to remember what kind of phone they have, or that Jim's iPhone has had to go back because it needs a new battery and he's using a 10 year old mobile he borrowed? A system that pushes a message onto the phone of anyone, anywhere on the planet (except the USA for previously stated reasons)? Oh, and it does handset delivery confirmation too.

    Now tell me how this is backwards?

    As for multitasking, are you trying to claim that as the iPhone doesn't do this, multitasking is bad? Good grief man, extract your head, Mr Jobs would like to sit down, and I think you could do with some fresh air.

  7. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton


    "Despite the obvious inadequacies of their network, they turned down stimulus funds offered by the Obama administration that could have helped them upgrade it."

    And let the Obama administration thereby own it. Crappy though it may be in some areas (not in mine or any I have visited,) I do not blame AT&T for turning that blood money down. I do not blame ANY communications company for turning it down. What, they want to be like GM?

    Paris, AT&T turned her down, too.

  8. Alastair 7

    @Vision Aforethought

    Yes, all very good, until I want to message a friend that doesn't have an e-mail capable phone. Also, SMS is (more or less) instant- e-mail isn't unless you've got a push account set up.

    Yes, SMS and MMS are an utter rip off, but people being morons isn't the *only* reason they're used.

  9. Simon 81

    Makes Rogers in Canada look good!

    Wow - I didn't realize AT&T were /that/ bad! Makes Rogers/Fido in Canada look good - which is an amazing feat indeed. MMS from the off, and Tethering at no additional charge on the $30/6Gb iPhone 'enthusiast' plan. I find myself Tethering more and more when out now, preferring it to WiFi, even if available, and not limiting my choice of cafe / restaurant based on internet access anymore. Umm, Yay Rogers?! (Really?! - wow!)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This whole farrago minds me of the tale I heard some years back

    about Nokia's Silicon Valley outpost. Obviously this building was wired and (un-wired) to the gills, with WiFi and picocells pumping out CDMA, GSM, 3G, GPRS, EDGE, mental telepathy and astral projection, to the extent that the employees would wander the corridors conducting their entire day's work from wherever they liked the view best/had slumped the day before.

    The problem, then, set in once these Communicator-toting warriors took the brave step beyond the airlocks into actual California sunshine. "Outside," one of them was heard to say, "it's like stepping into the Third World."

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Lets make this really simple

    Number of MMS enabled phones in the world >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> smartphones

    Yes. Email is functionally "better" than MMS. Much cheaper for the carriers. But MMS faaaaaar more prevelant. Conflating the two just makes you look ignorant. And backward.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @Everyone who says "use email, not MMS"

    Simple fact for you here - not everyone has a phone with email capability. Not everyone WANTS a smartphone. Some people are happy with just being able to send or receive the occasional picture (what, one a month maybe?) in an easy way. So, MMS.

    It's not about people who "don't understand email" and anyone who suggests that has just got their head stuck up their pretentious backside.

    (I have an iPhone (UK). I like using MMS to send pics to my girlfriend and family members - none of whom have email-capable phones. Does that make me backward in some way? Get over it.)

  13. Craig 12

    Same over here?

    My experience with O2 3G in central Birmingham is it's shite. T-Mobile was so much faster, I guess 'cos they had no pesky iphones on their network!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    MMS? How quaint.

  15. Ian Michael Gumby
    Thumb Down

    Don't bash AT&T

    I guess the point of the article was to mock AT&T's announcement of a 'new' service.

    And then point out how crappy their overall service is.

    Unfortunately the competitors are no better, and can be worse at times.

    Sprint? Not good in all areas. Verizon? Don't even get me started.

    In any big city, its very easy to get in to high traffic areas where you do either get dropped calls or no calls at all.

    Thumbs down because it appears the author was either under a deadline to write some negative dribble, or just doesn't like AT&T. (Did they forget to comp him a phone? ;-)

    I live in Chicago, near a very busy intersection that during rush hour, I'll have dropped calls.

    You get used to it and you use your land line. (You do have one, right?)

    Or you can switch to wi-fi and then make VOIP calls. (You do have a phone that can do that, right? Provided *You* have a VOIP service... ;-)

  16. Richard 102

    @Hud Dunlap

    And where is AT&T based? Right, San Antonio. I mean, you'd think that if there were ANY place they'd want to do well, it would be in their home town ...

  17. Richard 102


    Remember, this isn't the old AT&T. AT&T was bought by one of the Baby Bells, SBC. When SBC took over Ameritech (the Midwest Baby Bell), service immediately went to sh*t and the normal 14 day wait for landline service went to two months ... and they still missed the date. When a class action suit was filed by a bunch of people in the former Ameritech region, SBC's official response was to blame the customers for expecting good service.

    Some things never change.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Are the US networks really THAT bad?

    OMG if AT&T can't even cope with MMS, what hope would they have with the millions of users like me who spend the day watching TV, listening to internet radio/Spotify and Skypeing on their 3G dongles and phones here in the UK.

    In fact, the only network that comes close to that low level of service here in the UK is O2... which makes you wonder about Apple's choice of partners.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    @Vision Aforethought

    I think the reason most people buy an expensive item like an iPhone is to use it as... umm.. a phone first of all, not just a shiny fashon statement - even if that's it's second purpose for many.

    A phone that can't send texts and pictures to other phones is really a bit useless... and given that most other phones either don't have email or it costs extra to enable email, when texts are free or dirt cheap (especially when sending messages abroad to less connected countries) means that emails are a dated artifact of a bygone age. Also, how do you send an email to a telephone number? I suppose you could text them to ask their email address... oh wait.

    I know many people with email capable phones including iPhones and most don't bother to even set it up. Hell, even the people I know with Blackberrys seem to prefer texts to email.

    Everyone has a phone (or two). Every phone can send/receive texts/mms (yes I know most landlines can't receive MMS but you can still send them a text)... except it would seem USA iPhone users!?!?!

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