iPhone MMS May Not Make It To Australia

iPhone MMS May Not Make It To Australia

iPhone3G.jpgOne of the features Lifehacker US singled out straight away as appealing in the forthcoming iPhone 3.0 release (apart from the finally-here copy and paste option) was the ability to send and receive MMS messages. Photo frenzy ahoy! However, there’s a disturbing note at the foot of Apple’s official press release:

MMS may not be available in all areas.

iPhone 3.0 won’t be on general release until mid-year, which means there’s plenty of time for a local telco to get on the MMS bandwagon if they can see a potential revenue source. On the other hand, there’s a precedent for it not happening: visual voicemail, one of the most hyped features of the original iPhone, never made it down under. If I was a betting man, I’d be inclined to back the “no MMS for Aussies” horse.


  • I disagree. Visual Voicemail never made it here because it required major back-end changes on the part of the carrier. MMS, however, is supported by every iPhone carrier in Australia. The exception will apply to carriers/plans that do not currently have the capabilities to support MMS.

  • That’s just shit-stirring on your behalf. Some of the 3rd world networks don’t support MMS. Australia’s does. There’s virtually no changes that need to be made on the telco’s side to have MMS on the iPhone.

  • The “no change” assumption might well be accurate, but having not read the dev docs, I wouldn’t personally swear to it. Also, how many third world countries are actually iPhone markets?

  • Er, there’s no change to the infrastructure at all to allow MMS to the iPhone. Apple handles it’s UI, and how MMSs are sent. Apart from that, it just uses the standard protocols that every other MMS capable phone use (and are supported) in Australia…

  • When/if a local telco announces its iPhone MMS support, I will very happily run an “I was completely wrong” piece. But Apple has far too much of a track record of rollling services out late (if at all) for Australian users to assume that _anything_ is a given, especially when bets are being hedged by the company at this early stage.

  • I was a little skeptical when it the announcement was made, actually before that, when the rumours were around that MMS would come to the iPhone.

    The main reason is that plans like mine (on Optus), don’t include any provision for MMS. I have calls+txt and data, but no MMS. To change iPhone users plans accross all the carriers in Australia alone, let alone international would be a pretty serious undertaking.

  • It will definitely work. I already use MMS via a jailbroken application on my iPhone in Australia. The 3.0 update will implement this industry standard MMS functionality which the providers’ back ends already support.

    If your plan doesn’t provide for it (which some may not, though I suspect they’ll probably be included) you’ll just get slugged the standard 55c MMS fee on top of your cap price for each one until they change that. Some of them may even just charge you for the data that the MMS uses if there’s no provision, it really is just sending data to a special gateway provided by your carrier. Usually though, that triggers a bill item to be added.

  • I agree with Sam – MMS working with 3 on a (carrier [Optus]) unlocked iPhone, which, after unlocking, was jailbroken and had Swirly MMS installed. The carrier MMS server settings had to be put in (I think it now has a list of settings, including those for Aus), but otherwise, MMS is just a data protocol which, as previously pointed out, is already supported by the major telcos’ existing infrastructure. If the iPhone can then support that data protocol, it’s down to plans and that’s it. As for “rolling out plan changes to all iPhone users”, Aus telco customers know that telcos change terms and conditions all the time. IMHO, this is no different.

  • Apple aren’t the ones delivering features late, the providers are. Australia was one of the first countries to recieve iPhone 3G and it wasn’t them that chose to disable Visual Voicemail.

    I’m not sure why a telco would announce support – MMS uses a standard data conduit (which already exists on the iPhone) to deliver and receive messages. Like the other poster, I already do this on my phone and the network doesn’t stop it.

  • I’ve had MMS on my iPhone for 15 months now. It works a treat. and whatever buggy MMS app apple decides to throw will need to be VERY good to beat SwirlyMMS that’s available now, and works seamlessly on Aust carriers.

  • I have to agree with most of the sentiments already expressed. I think “MMS may not be available in all areas” probably refers more to 3G and data coverage than any specific telco service, especially considering that MMS will only be available on the 3G iPhone.

    That said, I think Tim’s nailed it on the head. SwirlyMMS is a very complete MMS app for the iPhone, especially with the latest updates, and Apple’s going to have to really work hard to knock it off its perch.

    My wife now uses my original 1st gen iPhone and I bought her a SwirlyMMS license for that too. Given that 3.0 won’t give the 1st gen owners MMS capability, that’s a significant chunk of the market automatically excluded.

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