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Article  |  Misc

Sadly, iMessage didn't reduce our monthly bills

Reading time: Less than a minute

I was reviewing my monthly AT&T iPhone bill and remembered that I had an unlimited SMS plan, which costs an additional $20/month. However, it occurred to me that I might not being sending/receiving nearly as many text messages through AT&T these days since iOS5 came out and brought us iMessage.

So, I decided to look at some of my usage over the past year+. Here is what I found…

We notice that there were some big drop-offs in usage as I spent nearly three full months in Paris, France last year and had told friends/family to avoid texting me for that period as the international costs are insane.

Anyhow, if we look at October 2011 when I upgraded to iOS5 on my iPhone, we’ll see a big drop in message counts. I spent part of October and November back in Paris and friends were slowly upgrading… but by December, we see a steady count reduction via AT&T. (I wish there was an easy way to see counts of iMessages… anyone know?)

Unfortunately for my wallet, AT&T played this smart and stopped offering pre-paid bulk messaging plans. They only offer an unlimited plan or a per-use plan, according to Shirley B. on their live chat.

“You can pay for messaging on a per-use basis. Text and instant messages are $0.20 per message. Picture/video messages are $0.30 per message. This plan works best for people who hardly ever send or receive messages of any kind.” —Shirley B. on live chat with AT&T

If I disabled my unlimited plan, the 333 messages in March would have cost me $66.60. Obviously, that doesn’t do me any good as that is $46.60 more than what I’m already paying… for the benefit of keeping in touch with those handful of friends and family who don’t own iOS devices. Those friends are costing me money. ;-)

There are many benefits of iMessage, but a smaller phone bill isn’t one of them thanks to AT&T. Such is life.

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