iMessage: Not as cheap as unlimited text plans

Posted on by Mike Evans

Dr.Drang of makes a valid point about iMessage. It isn’t a free service because every text uses a small amount of your valuable data allowance.¹ He has switched off iMessage in favour or his unlimited text plan. It’s a fair point. If a text is costing you nothing, it is actually more expensive to use the “free” iMessage.

What I suspect he has overlooked is the exorbitant cost of international texts. If you live here in Europe it’s a good chance your friends are scattered around the continent. If you text them you pay through the nose, so iMessage (and other services such as Viber) are a much cheaper alternative. While in the US last week I used Viber extensively for text messages, simply because I’ve encouraged most of my friends to install the app.

As iMessage percolates down to a majority of iOS² users I can see that it will be a seamless way of messaging at the best price.


¹ All “free” alternatives to standard cellular calls or texts use data. This applies equally to Viber, Tango, Skype as it does to Apple’s iMessage.

² iMessage also works on iPad (over cellular data or wifi) and iPod touch (wifi)

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