MMS - Up to the carrier

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Babybandit, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Babybandit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #1
    Well, I've had my iPhone since Launch. In Hong Kong here, we have MMS enabled, the carrier would send our incoming MMS to a different "mailbox", which can be accessed from our Carrier's website... The story begins...

    Well, I just talked to our carrier (3), because one of my MMS was apparently "Lost in Transfer", so I arranged a meeting with a manager. So the manager went through some data and got my message back :D. We chatted for a while, he told me to make a MMS icon on my homepage (Dashboard - Website shortcuts), for the moment. I was confused, asked him... Apparently, MMS is going to be the responsibility of the Carriers, (3) is making an App for Hong Kong and Macau users to be able to get their MMS and send out MMS.

    Reason? Well, many carriers didn't want it, and Apple has actually made an app - but AT&T didn't want it to hog up space. So what happens now is that the carriers can use that script and optimize it for their users.

    What then? It'll be part of our plan, added free of charge (Not really sure about other country's carriers if they plan to pursue it). The MMS is going to be added like emoji, but we will need to have an extra package installed by (3) (To prevent Jailbreakers from using it) which will be serialized for each individual phones (Meaning each phone will use one that matches (3)'s Database...

    In conclusion...
    1)MMS is going to be up to the carriers (it seems), and
    2)Apple has already done it, but turned down by AT&T.
    3)The MMS App will be able to send, receive and download the picture.4)They will be axed to the phone, so each gets a unique version of it that syncs to their iPhone (Computer, Phone Number and (3)'s unique database pin number)
    5)Only (3) users in Hong Kong and Macau are getting this (Since we have unlocked sold by Apple as well), which might indicate that Jailbreakers in the US, not using AT&T isn't getting this.
    6)Installed by the carrier individually after software update

    So, my own conclusion is wtf? If AT&T turned it down, couldn't other countries have gotten it directly? At least we'll get our MMS :D. But seems like Apple is started to secure things on Jailbreakers, as for adding it so it's unique to our respective iPhones, wouldn't that be a bit far-fetched as each needs to be slightly modified? Like they have time...

    Of course, the Manager could have been talking trash, but it seems realistic, sounds like a logical step. I guess this also means Software update 2.3 soon? :cool:
     
  2. Aurial macrumors 6502

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    Sep 13, 2008
    #2
    I think there may be some truth in what you're saying, because here in the UK O2 recently surveyed some of it's iPhone customers asking predominantly about MMS support for the iPhone. The questions were along the lines of "If O2 released an MMS app..."

    This may add some weight to what the manager has told you.

    My concern would be however, if this is going to be an app created by carriers rather than Apple, it's not going to be able to run in the background is it? I would suggest that there would need to be some sort of background process in place to 'listen' for the new MMS arriving? Unless Apple are going to include the process in a firmware update and this will somehow cause the app to launch.
     
  3. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

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    Oct 28, 2007
    #3
    It's a very interesting thought. I just find it hard to believe that every carrier in the WORLD rejected using this app, especially when their customers are clamoring for it and these carriers have other MMS enabled phones in their line-ups. Sorry, when it's all said and done, I still think Apple is the party pooper here.
     
  4. fishmoose macrumors 68000

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    Jul 1, 2008
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    Sweden
    #4
    Well I do know that Telia (Swedish carrier) is making an MMS app for there consumers.
    But no details have been given how it will work.
     
  5. Tokiopop macrumors 68000

    Tokiopop

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  6. Aurial macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I agree. Although it's not very popular in the US (by all accounts) MMS in a major revenue stream for networks in other countries. I can see Apple being under pressure from networks as well as its customers to impliment MMS in the iPhone.
     
  7. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #7
    Telia, the carrier (or owner of other carriers) for many North European countries, has reportedly been developing an MMS cient for the iPhone for quite some time, as fishmoose said: Mobispine making Telia MMS app for iPhone?.

    Edit: Found the MR thread on this, too... :)
     
  8. Babybandit thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 29, 2008
    #8
    There is something though, remember how AT&T was involved in the development?

    Imagine the iPhone as a company, even without the exclusivity, I'm sure AT&T has a little bit of say, as to whether the phone gets the MMS app. From what I understood with the manager...

    Apple has built the app, AT&T rejected from the phones, and if other providers want to have an MMS app - they need to make it. But Apple has provided the original app they had, to the carriers.

    Question is, how similar will the original Apple App and the carrier modified app be? Will it just be an added logo, localization and some other weird add-ons.

    Knowing it can't work in the background (yet), due to limitations, will we get an SMS each time we have an MMS? (That's what happens now) or are we in the dark?

    Glad that there's a post on another carrier doing this, at least gives this manager's tale a bit more truth :D. Now bring on Copy & Paste (except I doubt I'd use it :p)

    EDIT : I'm going to try to explain it a little clearer... If Apple has indeed made this application, and AT&T has decided to block it... Here are the reasons it might not be on the iPhone

    1) AT&T co-developed the iPhone with Apple, which was the original exclusivity deal. AT&T has a say to what goes on. Because US is the major country, it would be weird to give them an app on the iPhone which is useless. AT&T wouldn't permit this. Therefore the trash they are, they use the authority (as a co-developer) to stop it from going on.
    2) It's like the Podcaster app, it was made, but AT&T has blocked it from the phone's OS. It would be messy to give different carriers different applications when they install the

    What happens :
    1)Ends up that they give the app code to carriers who want it
    2)Carriers use online services to provide MMS
    3)Carriers provide it if they choose to


    Sorry for the confusion, it's probably not about $$ but they're just don't want so much data usage (How MUCH data will be used?)
     
  9. paulsalter macrumors 68000

    paulsalter

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    UK
    #9
    I am confused now by his thread

    Can someone tell me what AT&T has got to do with non US iphones

    If Apple produce something and AT&T dont want it then that should only be the US market
     
  10. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

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    Oct 28, 2007
    #10
    I'm pretty sure he was just using them as an example. But, this is why the story makes no sense. For us to have no MMS would mean that every carrier is blocking the ability to use MMS. I find this very, very hard to believe, unless Apple is demanding part of the profits from the MMS App in order to use it (the more likely senario). And also, why would the carriers be blocking MMS for the iPhone only (and not all their other phones)??

    At risk of using AT&T as another example, are there any other carriers that are still charging for MMS anyways? With AT&T, I am paying for the same service that other people with other phones are paying for their MMS (the standard messaging service). Therefore, AT&T will not likely profit by including MMS for the iPhone as they are not likely going to make any additional money. In fact, they very well likely lose money. This could be the only reason why AT&T would block it (but not other carriers).

    As for Telus having Mobispine develop an MMS app for Sweden, that was over 2 months ago. Where is it? I think you have to ask Apple.
     
  11. paulsalter macrumors 68000

    paulsalter

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    #11
    I cant really see why Apple would demand some of the profits for MMS, surely this would mean they would want profits for all charges made against the phone (SMS/Phone Calls), The carriers bought the phone and then sold it on to you and me, what happens with calls/data is really nothing to do with Apple.

    Confused about carriers blocking it, My iPhone O2 sim works fine in an basic phone and allows these features.

    For me it is Apple that are blocking it, and because the feature is not on iPhones, then the carriers dont see it as a necessity.

    If an MMS app appeared on the iPhone I am sure the carriers would jump at the chance to make the extra money
     
  12. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

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    Oct 28, 2007
    #12
    If they developed the application, they likely would want to license it out for money. Apple isn't a charity organization. The reason there is no MMS is neither a technological one, nor a bandwidth one - the iPhone 3G is proven to accept and receive MMS without any trouble. As for why there is no MMS, you just have to follow the money trail. Whether it leads to the carriers or Apple is the question.

    Apple has all the exclusive carriers by the gonads. They are not only paying for the subsidy, but they are also paying Apple a portion of the monthly bill. So, indirectly Apple is receiving money from the carriers for the phone calls and SMS. Apple is calling all the shots here. Maybe the carriers collectively said "enough-is-enough" and decided to just block MMS rather than to pay Apple more money.
     
  13. paulsalter macrumors 68000

    paulsalter

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    #13
    Any links to this and do other phone manufacturers do the same

    My understanding is that the supplier buys the product and then sells it on at a profit

    I dont see how the carriers are blocking it, my sim card works in a standard phone and will send MMS, the only thing stopping me sending MMS is the iphone software
     
  14. blueflame macrumors 6502a

    blueflame

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    #14
    well, they certainly collectively said in the USA, "lets price fix" since really every major carrier is the exact same price. its crazy how price fixed it is.
     
  15. tsice19 macrumors 6502a

    tsice19

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    Feb 16, 2008
    #15
    No MMS is probably because of a poor relationship with AT&T and Apple.

    Would Apple really leave us in the dark for this long?
     
  16. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

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    #16
    This would have no affect on all the other carriers in the world.
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #17
    Logically, no. But, as stated numerous times above, that's not how the world works.

    Now this is the part I don't understand. Most phones, ranging from basic to sophisticated, have MMS. This is true for all the major carriers in the US, and AFAIK true for all the major carriers in most of the nations where the iPhone has been deployed.

    Who are these service providers who don't want MMS on the phone and why on earth would they not want it? If the service provider in question is AT&T as others have suggested, what is their rationale for not having this feature?
     
  18. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

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    #18
    Of course there are no links for how much Apple is getting from the exclusive deal. But, this is how I look at it.

    We know Apple is receiving a subsidy from AT&T, just like all other cell phone companies get. But, what is stopping Apple from collecting subsidies from all other cellphone carriers; the exclusive deal.

    The exclusive deal is great for the carrier - it brings in more subscribers. But, it comes at a high price. The carrier has to be offering more money to Apple than Apple would collect from all subsifies from all other carriers (if not exclusive). If not, then this would make little financial sense for Apple. They would say "screw off," were not going to sell it exclusive. As a result, AT&T has actually loss money on the deal (and this is a proven fact based on the latest financial quarter results for AT&T), but they expect to make more money in the long-run due to having a lot more subscribers.
     
  19. Walter P Henson macrumors member

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    #19
    This actually correlates with a rumor that an Italian carrier or something was going to implement an app allowing for MMS. It all sounds pretty realistic but sometimes ATT can just be stubborn.
     
  20. paulsalter macrumors 68000

    paulsalter

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    UK
    #20
    Sorry I didnt mean how much Apple gets as a value

    My monthly sub to O2, where does it say some of this goes to Apple
    Your monthly sub, where does it say this goes to Apple

    If I buy a cheap Nokia does my phone bill for this include payments to Nokia
     
  21. paulsalter macrumors 68000

    paulsalter

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    #21
    What about other carriers

    Why is it just ATT being stubborn
     
  22. Aurial macrumors 6502

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    #22
    It amazes me that everything seems to be considered to align to what AT&T want. More iPhone owner in the world are not with AT&T than are with them.

    Even if AT&T don't want their 1 million* iPhone customers to have MMS, there's 10 million* iPhone users on other networks that do want it, and their networks want them to have it also.

    AT&T might not stand to make any money, but O2 certainly will. And if lots of people worldwide are moving to the iPhone from other handsets then think how many fewer MMS' are being sent each month. I'm sure, especially in the currant financial climate, that the networks are going to want every penny they can get from us.

    *a completely made up figure for the purposes of making a point.
     
  23. eplchamps0304 macrumors 6502a

    eplchamps0304

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    #23
    Developed the application? Thee MMS on the other phones were aslo developed, but they dont get a cut from the carrier.
     
  24. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

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    #24
    Apple is one of the greediest corporations on the face of the planet - just that most people look the other way due to their superior product. Yes, the whole situation doesn't quite make sense and as a result, this is likely why we are not seeing MMS - the customer loses based on politics and money.

    As for MMS apps on other phones, these were likely developed by the carrier, not the phone manufacturer.

    This is just the way subsidies work - common knowledge on Google. The reason cell phones are so cheap is not because the manufacturers are selling them cheap, but due to the subsidy the carriers pay the manufacturer. Do you really think $200 phones are given away for free when you sign up for a 2 year contract? No. The carrier buys the $200 phone from the manufacturer and then the carrier gives it away for free. This may sound like poor business sense by the carrier, but it's not. This is the way the carrier lures you in to sign you up for a very lucrative 2 year contract. This is also why unlocked phones cost so much money.

    For my explanation about why Apple is getting even more money via the exclusive deals, please re-read my explanation above. Just remember, Apple needs a financial incentive not to offer this phone to all carriers - as they likely would make more money if they weren't restricted to one carrier in one country. It is each exclusive carrier that is offering the financial incentive (extra money in addition to the subsidy).
     
  25. Aurial macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I agree with some of what you say, although I believe subsidies work somewhat differently in some respects.

    Say I get a Nokia N96 free on an 18 month contract with O2. The handset costs about £400 sim-free, but O2 buy it at wholesale price from Nokia and in bulk so they get it for about £300. They pay that amount outright to Nokia, and Nokia have no further part to play.

    My contract is £35 a month over 18 months = £630 meaning they've made £330 profit. Of course you have to factor in the costs of whatever they give me in terms of minutes and texts for my £35, but the cost of this to them is very little as they're the provider.

    With the iPhone it works somewhat differently. To be the network which carries the iPhone O2 have had to pay a huge amount of money to Apple in the first place to secure the deal. Next Apple said "You can sell the iPhone, but we want £15 a month from that £35 your customer is paying you, plus the handset is going to cost £399 which we'll also get." So now you're still paying O2 that same £630 over the life of the contract, but O2 are paying Apple £270 of it on top of the millions they paid for the rights to it. So this is why the original iPhone cost so much to buy. O2 couldn't have subsidized it or they'd make a loss.

    With the 3G my understanding is that Apple are no longer taking a monthly cut, but this may be wrong. This has allowed the networks to sell the handset at a subsidized price to the customer.

    Getting back to MMS, I don't see how Apple are going to make any money from it at all and don't think this has anything to do with why we haven't seen it. It's not big in the US, plain and simple. I think Job's thought that if they included email it would be just as good. Thing is, now it's all over the world in market which love MMS and networks are losing money big time. The survey by O2 looks to me like it might be Apple trying to charge the networks for the stock MMS app, and O2 are trying to work out whether its worth the outlay.
     

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