announced that MMS for the iPhone 3G and 3GS will become available on September 25th. While the iPhone itself already supports this feature, AT&T held back on making it available to its customers, much to the disappointment of many iPhone owners. MMS, which basically allows users to send images, audio, and short videos to other phones just like a text message, will be enabled through a software update for the iPhone. According to AT&T, the company didn't enable this feature any earlier because it needed to upgraded its infrastructure to the point where it was ready to handle the traffic it expects to see once this feature becomes available.AT&T just
MMS, of course, has always been available on a wide variety of phones and when Apple announced that the iPhone 3.0 firmware upgrade would be capable of supporting MMS but that AT&T wasn't quite ready yet, a lot of users were quite disappointed. Indeed, Apple and AT&T are currently being sued for misleading consumers into believing that the iPhone would be capable of multimedia messaging.
Ever since the iPhone launched, AT&T has been criticized for not being able to handle the traffic the iPhone already generates on its mobile data network. Waiting for its network to be ready to handle this traffic was probably the right decision, especially given that the company expects to see "record volumes of MMS traffic" once it enable this feature on the iPhone.
iPhone 3.1 Also Coming September 25?
A bit earlier this month, our own Sarah Perez wondered if MMS would be enabled in the next version of the iPhone OS. If an OS update is indeed necessary to enable MMS on the iPhone, then we can be pretty sure that September 25 will also be the launch date for the iPhone 3.1 update.
Here is the full press release:
An Update on iPhone MMS for our Mobility Customers
We know many of our iPhone customers are eager for an update on our rollout schedule for Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). We've been working for the past several months to prepare our systems and network to ensure the best possible experience with MMS when it launches - and that launch date is: September 25 for iPhone 3G and 3GS customers. MMS will be enabled through a software update on that day.
We know that iPhone users will embrace MMS. The unique capabilities and high usage of the iPhone's multimedia capabilities required us to work on our network MMS architecture to carry the expected record volumes of MMS traffic and ensure an excellent experience from Day One. We appreciate your patience as we work toward that end.
We're riding the leading edge of smartphone growth that's resulted in an explosion of traffic over the AT&T network. Wireless use on our network has grown an average of 350 percent year-over-year for the past two years, and is projected to continue at a rapid pace in 2009 and beyond. The volume of smartphone data traffic the AT&T network is handling is unmatched in the wireless industry. We want you to know that we're working relentlessly to innovate and invest in our network to anticipate this growth in usage and to stay ahead of the anticipated growth in data demand, new devices and applications for years to come.
We thank you for your business and look forward to keeping you updated on our initiatives.