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Summary:

Multimedia messaging (MMS) is within reach for iPhone users, or at least that’s what Mobispine AB is saying via press release today. The Stockholm-based mobile services company currently provides white lable RSS reader and Desktop SMS and MMS solutions to companies looking to get their own […]

Multimedia messaging (MMS) is within reach for iPhone users, or at least that’s what Mobispine AB is saying via press release today.

The Stockholm-based mobile services company currently provides white lable RSS reader and Desktop SMS and MMS solutions to companies looking to get their own branded mobile service. Today they announced that they are now offering yet another brandable service: MMS capability for the Apple iPhone.

The lack of MMS has long been one of the most glaring omissions in the iPhone’s feature set, and is available on much less advanced handsets from all major manufacturers. Third-party applications like Flutter have attempted to bring workaround solutions to the platform, but to limited success and with awkward restrictions on how messages are sent and received.

Mobispine’s solution is targeted at providers, not individual consumers. Essentially, it would add backend support for sending and receiving MMS from a carrier-branded MMS interface. This conveniently avoids the need for Apple buy-in, since individual operators would be the ones making the decision as to whether or not they will offer the service.

Apple still needs to OK the service implementation through the App Store approval process, however, since it would operate through a custom-branded native iPhone app. On the end-user side, iPhone owners will be able to create MMS messages from within the application, and attach photos saved to the iPhone’s hard drive, or new pictures taken with the iPhone’s camera. MMS messages will also be received via the Mobispine app, not in the iPhone’s built in SMS application. According to the press release, MMS messaging to and from all capable handsets will be possible, so non-iPhone users will not require any special software or have to visit any external links.

Since the decision to pursue the service is up to operators, it’ll be interesting to see who bites. Likely candidates are markets where more than one provider offers the iPhone, or where existing sales numbers indicate that the market appears saturated, and to get more customers requires offering some perceived value-add to justify an iPhone purchase. There’s also a possibility that carriers could charge for the additional service.

iPhone users: Is MMS important to you? Would you like to see your carrier implement this solution, or would you rather wait for an official Apple MMS service, if one comes at all? Would you pay for the MMS service if your carrier decides to charge a fee?

  1. Uh…YES!! MMS is absolutely my #1 improvement request for the iPhone. How hard could it be to offer such a ‘basic’ service on such an advance platform?

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  2. I can’t say it’s particularly high on my list of things that I want on my iPhone but it is annoying the odd time that I actually receive an MMS or want to send one to someone who doesn’t receive email on their phone. I definitely wouldn’t pay for it, but I would be interested in using the service if it was included in the iPhone contract. O2 used to operate a 4 SMS for 1 MMS policy where you could use your included allowance of SMS messages to send MMS messages at a rate of 4:1.

    http://gadgetsgamesandstuff.blogspot.com

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  3. MMS has recently become more important to me. Since my divorce, I’ve made some new friends who love to send MMS messages. And they are doing this on their “free with a new plan” phones. While I’m stuck going to that God-Awful slow website (viewmysessageDOTcom) to see the pictures on my arguably expensive, cutting-edge phone.

    And speaking of that website, another glaring omission from the iPhone becomes apparent: copy/paste. When someone sends me a MMS message, I have to either toggle back and forth between SMS and Safari, or jot down the provided username and password.

    I really don’t understand Apple’s thinking with regard to MMS, and would rather not have to rely on a 3rd party app to provide a basic function that should have been there in the first place.

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  4. I couldn’t care less about MMS, on my iPhone or any other phone.

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  5. not a huge requirement for me. My wife has an email address entry for me and she sends me mms messages from her phone to mine. And I have her @mms.att.com in my address book and email pictures from my iPhone to that address. I receive her pictures as email and she receives mine as mms. This is a fine solution for us.

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  6. Dude, MMS is a must. I’m not one to wave my iPhone about in an effort to be cool, but I still get harassed by folks with cheap-o Nokia phones.

    “Dude, I’ll send ya this hilarious pic…oh wait, your iPhone doesn’t support MMS? Too bad… *laughter*”

    Not to mention the fact that I’ve encountered many times when MMS would be a HUGE help. It’s at the top of my wish list.

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  7. yeah, have your dudes ever heard of email?, i can send them 10 pictures at a time…can they do that with their MMS?.

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  8. is this somewhat of a respons to telia’s anouncement of adding mms features to swedish iPhones?

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  9. yeah, the lack of mms was, and continues to be, a huge mistake in my opinion.

    why should the iphone be unable to do what every other phone can in this regard?

    apple can say what they want…no one wants to be relegated to emailing pictures back and forth on the fly.

    there is no upside to leaving mms off the phone. what were they thinking???

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  10. Although Mike says he can send 10 pictures at a time, if he’s referring to an iPhone he’s wrong. iPhone (as far as I know) can only send a single image at a time via email.

    However, his point is valid. I think MMS was an “in between” technology until email because ubiquitous. It still is not, but many phone have email capability, that the question begs: “Why MMS, when you could jest sent an email?” The answer in my perception, is simple: because most people don’t use email on their phone even if it can handle it. And MMS requires no set up. Just send your grandma an MMS (if your grandma has a mobile phone) and she’d be able to look at the picture without an setup, or configuration.

    Email *is* superior to MMS, but it’s the users that are self perpetuating the need, and I think it becomes valid on this point alone.

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