Late AT&T misses deadline for iPhone MMS

AT&T continues to disappoint U.S. iPhone users. Now, it's missed its deadline for MMS support on Apple's iPhone. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers stare at the calendar to find Labor Day and the equinox.

By Richi Jennings.
September 4, 2009.

Your humble blogwatcher has selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention The Cat Elevator...

David Chartier maps the news:

According to AT&T ... a software update will enable MMS for iPhone 3G and 3GS customers (original iPhone owners are, unfortunately, out of luck with the MMS feature). ... AT&T has finally answered the call for a due date: September 25.
Besides finally offering a date, AT&T is also clearly trying to quell the seething masses and complaints about overpriced, sub-par service that have become almost deafening. ... [But it] may not comfort many who have already lost faith in the carrier's ability to meet demand. ... iPhone owners in particular are hungry for as many multimedia and data services as developers can dream up. MMS is surely the tip of a much larger iceberg that AT&T cannot seem to steer away from fast enough.

Rik Myslewski excoriates the Whitacre wimps:

AT&T has announced that on September 25th it will begin offering MMS service to its iPhone customers, solving one image problem and exacerbating another. ... The average iPhone owner - especially those in high-traffic urban areas such as San Francisco and New York - knows that AT&T's current service can be most kindly described as "suboptimal."
And now the load on the overburdened network will increase, packed with bandwidth-gobbling MMS messages. ... September 25th is technically in autumn, of course, but ... now [users will] get it. ... How well it will work is another thing entirely. Our prediction is that it'll gum up AT&T's already-creaking network and add to the flood of bad vibes.

JR Raphael heals old wounds

Sure, MMS functionality is something iPhone users have been clamoring to get for ages. But it's also something that should have been introduced -- well, ages ago. ... Even if you accept that the iPhone operating system didn't, for whatever reason, support the seemingly basic function of MMS until this June's 3.0 release, that's still a solid three-and-a-half months AT&T's been dragging its feet on making the service available. Back in June, AT&T said the "finalizing [of] internal system upgrades" was causing the hold-up.
Something as simple as multimedia messaging should have been available long ago, and its overdue arrival isn't exactly cause for celebration.

Over the pond, Spanner Spencer wrenches
at AT&T's tardiness:

Over here in the UK, the iPhone was immediately equipped with MMS capability once the 3.0 software was installed, but our Apple-equipped cousins in the US are still waiting. At the time, AT&T promised US iPhoners an MMS service in "late summer", and with only a couple of weeks of summer left, its customers are rightly drumming their fingers on a touchscreen in exasperated apprehension.
The good news is that the iPhone exclusive carrier has now announced its intentions to deliver MMS on September 25th - missing late summer by just a couple of days, but pedantry is a right that its customers have earned.

Seth Weintraub twists the knife:

It's not quite the "late summer" launch that we were told about, is it? Why the delay? Well, AT&T said earlier that it was because the company was "finalizing internal system upgrades".
Really? We have to wonder why all of the other industrialized world telcos and some of the third world iPhone carriers have had MMS and tethering since launch.

Warner Crocker, too:

No mention of the fact that AT&T has now changed the seasonal calendar so that summer extends beyond the autumnal equinox. But then I guess the only calendar they are looking at in the AT&T offices is the one that has that exclusivity deal moving closer to expiration.
Now about that tethering thing? Oh, yeah, something about when hell freezes over, as I recall.

But Justin Horn already has it working, kinda-sorta:

I got excited back on July 15th when my MMS started working, but was disappointed only 15 mins later when I realized it was just a temporary crossing of the lines (when I sent messages out, it had a different number than my own) while AT&T was testing. Well folks, it’s the real deal this time…MMS is working on 3.1! …and it shows my correct phone number now :) ... This is a clean install, no hacks, on a family text plan. We are located in Miami, Fl so they might be turning it on for difference service areas at different times.

So what's your take?
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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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