No MMS on the 3G iPhone – good or bad?

There have been some questions about the lack of support for MMS on the new 3G iPhone ..

I think there is a simple explanation .. Apple is right to leave MMS out of the iPhone(and it reveals a much broader strategy as we see below)

I think the question is- What exactly do we need MMS for(from the user standpoint)

Three things are possible ..

a) person to web communication(photo album type of application)

b) person to person communication

c) A2P (Application to person i.e. web site to person) – this is like a daily news paper

In reality is P2P communication via MMS is dead (and MMS has only itself to blame)

More importantly no matter what Apple does – it cannot control the P2P experience since the operators, other device etc will not be interoperable

The other two(A2P) and Person to web – can be done by the iPhone much better without getting bogged down with MMS

The question reveals a key insight ..

Both Google and Apple are wisely not mucking around with the network layer .. I.e. leaving the network layer to telecoms and focussing on the Apps layer(playing to their strengths and to the revenue sources)

When Android was launched .. I had a post saying - No IMS stack for Android? Which is the same thing(conceptually)

So, it makes a lot more sense when you look at it from both tech and functional angles

The chickens have come home to roost for the telecoms industry ..

If they launch ventures like MMS and dont get the interoperability right and make them viable for the whole ecosystem (think OpenGardens) .. these initiatives(and the cost) become dead in about three years when players like Apple and Google will simply bypass them. We saw that with LBS. Now we see that with MMS.

The future belongs to the Web players dominating the Mobile space – which is nice :)


  1. matt says:

    if they could have fitted in in they would have. useless. if it did have mms would you be trying to justify why they should DROP it in the next iphone update? i think not…

  2. pj says:

    I’m another Aussie who wont buy the iphone because it has no MMS. I know a there are people saying that you don’t need it because you can email from your phone but does Apple honestly think they are so great that every phone user on the planet is going to buy an iphone and email instead of picture messaging? Most other phones do not appear to have as good an email capability as apple but I can tell you I MMS far more than I email from my phone. After all, in an MMS I can include text, photos and or video which is all I want when I’m out and about (which is the only time I foresee using the phone for this type of purpose otherwise I’d use my computer). MMS is a hell of a lot cheaper in Australia than the data plans available for iphone. I had planned on getting one but the fact that you can’t send or receive picture messages or video has turned me off completely… and many of my friends!

  3. jacinta says:

    I will never buy an iphone. The only reason being is that it does not have mms

  4. Del says:

    The original article is off base; using this logic SMS should be abolished as well; just use E-mail…WTF?

  5. Graham says:

    The fact that the iPhone doesnt have MMS was not explained to me. I had to find out the hard way. I get MMS messages every day in the US. I tell people I have to wait to go online to a computer and enter this crazy, non rememberable, username/password to view their pic/video/etc. They laugh at me. At the very least the texting feature should take you to the website and enter the username/password for you. If I had known that iPhone uses SMS, I wouldnt have bought it. When people ask me about my iPhone and how I like it. I say I love it, BUT it doesnt do picture text and that really pisses me off”. Their reply, “Gosh who would want that”?

  6. Jack Black says:

    All the iphone is is an ipod with a phone built in and with a poor 2mp camera.
    Want something that is truely out of this world?
    Get a HTC Touch HD.

  7. Chris says:

    There is good software for mms on the iPhone software site it works well but god come on apple you have made a brilliant phone but forgotten basic software mms. Bluetooth streaming video recording.come. On apple we need updates and you need sales so sort it out and make my phone the rolls Royce of phones

  8. Garrett says:

    i lost my iphone about a week ago now and due to the lack of basic functionality im not getting it replaced…that and the fact that AT&T over here in North Carolina in the grand ol States doesent let you carry insurance on it becuase they dont reconize it as a standard phone…the replacement price to get a new iphone 3g (still missing MMS, Still cant FWD messages, and still has the bluetooth restrictions to headsets) $599 USD…No Thanks done with your shit….you guys should really consider A Blackberry Bold (AT&T) thats what i got…its got mms, FWD messaging, a VIDEO CAMERA, takes great pics and it also has bluetooth stereo…fucking AWSOME…YOU GUYS SHOULD REALLY LOOK INTO THE BLACKBERRY BOLD…it blows iphone off the map!!

  9. Bob says:

    Yes this lack of functionality is totally inexcusable. Most of the posts say it all. To all the foreign posters that are under the impression this decision was made because everyone here has moved past mms is false. I would say if a mobs pic is going to be sent here, it’s still 99% going to be (or wanting to be) mms. I also was one of the ones that found put about this after purchase because it didn’t even occur to me that or wouldn’t have this basic function. But given that it’s Apple I shouldn’t be too surprised…a company that can make something so cool beyond expectAtion yet also incorporate a total mind boggle. I’m not totally unconvinced this utter, epic failure isn’t another ecclectic Steve Jobs imposition–”oh FireWire is better than blahblah, SCSI blahblah, mms?! We’re gonna destroy that blahblah”. I mean even if mms is busted (big if) and you want to set your phone up for the future, why do it at the expense of compatatbility? Especially if you ‘supposedly’ have one of the highest tech phones one the market? AND if you do make this decision to inconvenience your user base how about waiting til the percentages are more like 60-40 or 50-50 rather than >99% using mms and <1% using mobile email for pic messaging.

  10. ron says:

    I purchased an i phone3g 3 days ago. My daughter sent me a picture of my newborn grandson from Florida, guest what, I discovered after she called me that I couldn’t recieve mms. The iphone does have its advantages but I will be returning it on Monday. I want my Nokia back. Thanks a lot Apple, you just lost a sale.