Monday, January 30, 2012

Apple didn't invent this either

So, just the other day I read this article how iMessage is killing SMS. It draws some rather startling conclusions from the use patterns of, well, himself and his friends. I may have to remember this as an example of not looking at actual market data. After his charts, there's quotes like this:
At this point it’s clear that the graphs of text message usage on traditional carriers are going to do nothing but slope downward at this point. In fact, they’re running scared, with AT&T already instituting new plans that are more aggressively priced in order to close the gap.
Because: Apple didn't invent this. I don't mean they didn't invent SMS, but they didn't invent closed message networks. Which means we can look to the previous iterations and study them. I am sure the true fanboi has never heard of BBM but stop and go look it up. Then search around for articles like this one where it seems the closed nature of the network encourages saturated populations (e.g. disaffected youth) to use it more freely than open networks, even when violating the law. In fact, BBM is a key reason the business-oriented Blackberry had such popularity for so long among the youth market. Apple also didn't invent killing SMS. There has been a general downward trend in SMS usage in very high internet-use countries for a couple years. This seems to be all about the use of IP-messaging services, and tying them together. For example, Twitter works just fine over an app interface, using the data channel instead of SMS. Same for whatever your messaging method of choice is, like Facebook.
The other day LukeW defended the Apple fanboi as "How long til the Apple "fanboy" label wears off & people realize they really do deliver insane results from amazing products?" But it's not the joy at using the products, or even those who stand in line to get the newest one first, or any of that consumption behavior. No, posts like the above are why I still use the term, and especially for US-based tech writers (whether full time or just bloggers) and designers. Ignoring history in such a deeply involved manner just makes you look dumb, and ill-informed, and do a worse job at coming up with solutions. I guarantee Apple knows all this, and more, and is doing it all on purpose and from a position of knowledge.

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