iPhone 3G/3GS Users to Get MMS Sept. 25...Finally

Three months after Apple wowed Mac fans with the iPhone 3GS unveiling--and AT&T simultaneously disappointed the same masses because its iPhone users would not be able to take advantage of one of the devices most-touted features, MMS, or multimedia text messaging--AT&T now says it will enable iPhone MMS on September 25.

Shortly after the iPhone 3GS was announced, AT&T said it would enable MMS by the end of the summer. The carrier's cutting it awful close, but it seems to have stuck to its promise.

From a posting on AT&T's site:

"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.

Traffic on AT&T's wireless network has increased by roughly 350 percent year-over-year for the past two years, and there's no end to that growth in sight, according to the carrier.

And the "software update" AT&T mentions is presumably iPhone OS 3.1.

After Apple unveiled the iPhone 3GS and iPhone OS 3.0, which also supports MMS messaging, AT&T caught quite a bit of criticism from customers and wannabe iPhone users over its decision to block MMS. In fact, AT&T was even sued by some angry customers, though the lawsuits did little to motivation the carrier to enable the feature.

Still missing from the AT&T-iPhone-equation are tethering and Bluetooth file sharing capabilities, both of which could technically be available to current iPhone and iPhone 3GS users, though AT&T still hasn't enabled them.

This story, "iPhone 3G/3GS Users to Get MMS Sept. 25...Finally" was originally published by CIO.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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