Blog Post

MMS for iPhone? It’s Already Here, Says Mobispine

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?

59 Responses to “MMS for iPhone? It’s Already Here, Says Mobispine”

  1. I am surprised that there is so much discussion over the merits of MMS. It is a standard feature on most phones, phones at a fraction of the cost of the iPhone and continues to have a stronghold for the vast majority of users. Email and MMS are two different functions and can not be fairly compared here. What I believe Apple has overlooked is the demand for MMS, as well as its universal compatibility across carriers. For a phone that boasts ease of use and advanced functionality, it is hard to swallow the restriction of using email to send multimedia (not including sound or video) and receiving multimedia via a third party site requiring laborious access codes. And without the ability to forward what you get, it seems as though Apple does not understand its market. iPhone users pay plenty for the use of their phones. The suggestion of more fees is insulting. MMS should be added. Period.

  2. Yes, Its important and its ridiculous that the iphone doesn’t have it. And no, i wont pay another blanking cent for crap that should be included like it is on all other phones. Iphone needs to get a clue on just a few more basic ideas and it will be the best phone without a doubt.

    Copy and Paste,
    Multiple signatures for multiple email address

    Blackberry and Treo have been doing this for YEARS!!!!!!

  3. I got an iphone for Christmas and I am struggling NOT to JailBreak it to get MMS service up and running, since it’ll be my last resort. I am hoping that Apple or some other App deveoloper decides to end this RIDICULOUS hole in the iphone tech. It’s supposed to be the ultimate phone, but lacks SO MANY of a modern day cell phone’s funcionalities…

    Also, why I prefer MMS to e-mail? First, my standard e-mail account is an hotmail one that DOES NOT function via normal ways in the e-mail app that comes with the iphone. Second, I have to pay to log in the internet to send an e-mail. Thirdly, I get free MMS to the people I usualy sent, so it seems kinda stupid to pay for something that I am paying every month to get for free.


  4. Does anyone know the reason we DON’T have MMS? I mean, what’s the point anyway? It must be available yet simply not provided. It far exceeds the ridiculous website which amost never comes up on the first try, and even then, nothing can be saved or forwarded on. Many less expensive phones that don’t support email belong to our children, babysitters,employees,etc and we sometimes need this form of communication with them. Please, Apple, provide us with this service!

  5. The Unsilent Majority

    Not everyone can do email on their phones, but even the CHEAP OF THE CHEAP basic cell phones can do MMS!
    Apple has totally screwed the pooch on this one! MMS and Flash {Safari} are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL! Why this should even be a debate is beyond me! The iPhone shouldn’t have to “Catch Up” to the the dinosaurs! And NOBODY should have to pay extra for it!!!



    I want to be able to send a pic msg like i cud on my old nokia years ago!What a complete disappointment from apple AGAIN. We shouldnt have to be jailbreaking and messing about with AT & T it should just be intergrated bog standard as it is on every other phone on the market.

    Come on apple pull your finger out!

  7. Yes, MMS is definitely lacking. It’s almost like the technology went backwards for a bit. That and along with the ability to forward texts messages. iPhone is a good product, just not thoroughly thought out.

  8. Of course MMS is important to me and that is also the reason I haven’t bought the IPhone yet, but will buy it ASA they’ll provide MMS, since on my plan I have 1000 sent MMS free and receiving always free with FIDO

  9. @Jason

    So, presumedly, we’d just need someone from each of the major carriers to MMS us (using the email option), so we’d know what the email-address-syntax is to MMS them back (and other on those carriers.

    I did have a hunch about this, because back when I had my old phone I used to MMS stuff to my email account to remind me about stuff later. (I also had ATT though, so I’m curious about other carriers and how well it works across them)

  10. MMS is already here, i am very surprised no one else has figured it out yet. i send MMS all day long, i have never unlocked my phone and never added anything more then iphone offers to me. all you have to know is the MMS address of the person you are sending it to.

    Sending a message from Iphone AT&T is (phone [email protected])
    Receiving is a little different because as all of us Iphone user know we cant except a regular MMS message. but you can receive them in your email, that is setup on your phone.

    Receiving MMS from others— Sender needs to use your email address instead of your phone number. when on a different phone, it gives you the option to send a MMS message via email or phone.

    so when i receive MMS i get them in my email and can reply back to them with no problem.

    hope this helps some folks out.

    anymore questions give me a shout or send me a picture at [email protected]

  11. I could not believe that MMS is not available – basic function. The more I get into the phone the more dissapointed I get. You can’t even build a group in the contacts for testing. After the initial gloss of the package, an average product emerges. Let’s hope apple release some decent upgrades soon

  12. Im a huge apple fan that has been disappointed in macintosh’s attitude towards this iphone technology. Yes, as stated earlier, email is superior for sending a large photo. But superior isn’t always better. I love sending and receiving photos on my phone. My friends and I do it all the time. Receiving a photo via email just isn’t the same. I wish apple would stoop down a little and do what the people want and not just what they think the people should want. Trying to coerce us into accepting this as a transition is not cool. superior or not i won’t buy an iphone until they offer mms as a NORMAL function. Its completely ridiculous.

  13. MMS would definitely be helpful, but I’m not sure how much I’d be willing to pay. I’ll have to see what the price points are.

    I do get lots of MMS messages and find it very difficult to get to the site. Oftentimes my fingers completely miss the password or the Message ID.

    An alternative solution could be to allow users to link their phones and create an “account” at viewmymessageDOTcom with your own username and password. Then whenever an MMS message is received instead of having to put in a randomly generated Message ID one could just put in their username and password to see the most recent picture and any picture from the past, say, 30 days.

    Obviously this wouldn’t be something that needed to be set up on the user’s side but rather the carrier’s side. I’m not sure if there are any real limitations, but I imagine if the technology to link a Facebook profile to a mobile phone number is available, than the capability to link a picture account to an MMS enabled number is also available.

    Can anyone think of why this wouldn’t be done?

  14. I’ve never had a good experience with MMS on any phone. I have friends who use it regularly, and they often have to call their friends to get them to resend attachments one by one and fiddle with settings (or even better, get onto their carrier’s help desk to have magic network settings twiddled on the MMS servers).

    Just use email.

  15. 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.

  16. 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???

  17. 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.

  18. 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 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.