AT&T logoiMessage is basically Apple’s answer to RIM’s BBM service whereby iOS users can send messages to each other for free (using either data or WiFi). While this is certainly a great idea as far as the user is concerned, it is without doubt eating into the potential revenue that carriers might have otherwise gotten from SMS. These were the sentiments echoed by AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson who was quoted as saying (via New York Times):

“You lie awake at night worrying about what is that which will disrupt your business model […] Apple iMessage is a classic example. If you’re using iMessage, you’re not using one of our messaging services, right? That’s disruptive to our messaging revenue stream.”

He also voiced out concerns about how Skype was becoming a more viable alternative to placing phone calls due to the various improvements that have been made to data networks. He also mentioned his regret of offering unlimited data plans when the iPhone first launched, and as most of you guys are familiar with by now, Sprint is the only major carrier out of the four that still offers (and still plans to offer) unlimited data plans. What do you guys think? Does AT&T’s Randall Stephenson really have something to be worried about?

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