An interesting move is on the cards from U.S. carrier, AT&T, according to Engadget and a subsequent AT&T press release.

The blog claims that ‘multiple sources’ point to AT&T dropping its 1,000 message $10 bundle, which would leave just two options for new customers – stump up $20 for the still loving unlimited SMS plan, or pay per message….

The move comes as many, including us here at iDB, believe that the days of SMS are very much numbered. With competition for messaging bragging rights coming from just about every angle, SMS and its huge costs, considering the amount of data transmitted, could soon be a thing of the past.

Apple’s iMessage will arrive in the public release of iOS 5, offering a free alternative to SMS between those using Apple’s portable devices, and Facebook has also started to make inroads with its Facebook Messenger app. Other third party solutions have been doing the rounds for quite a while now, and if you throw instant messaging protocols like AIM and Gtalk into the mix, then you have to wonder why we keep SMS around.

Now we do know that not everyone uses smartphones, and thus don’t have access to apps like WhatsApp, but that will surely change over the coming years. Will SMS go away tomorrow? Probably not, but can we really see it being around in 10 years, complete with 160 character limit?

I know I can’t.

AT&T’s Press Release below:

“We regularly evaluate our offers and are making some adjustments to our messaging lineup.

Starting August 21, we’re streamlining our text messaging plans for new customers and will offer an unlimited plan for individuals for $20 per month and an unlimited plan for families of up to five lines for $30 per month. The vast majority of our messaging customers prefer unlimited plans and with text messaging growth stronger than ever, that number continues to climb among new customers. Existing customers don’t have to change any messaging plan they have today, even when changing handsets.”

  • Juan

    SMS has a 160 character limit. Twitter has 140. =)

    Thanks for the heads up. I just switched to the 1000 plan last week but I suspect I’ll just switch to no SMS when iOS 5 comes out. Between that and whatsapp, I’m in good shape.

  • Good riddance to SMS messaging in general. Totally dropping my plan in September. Saves some $240 a year.

    • Mike

      Jesus, Mary and Joseph, America is such a rip off for talk plans and text messages, I pay £25 a month for 200 minutes anytime, any networ, 5000 text messages, 1GB of data and unlimited Wi-Fi with BT Openzone so how come it costs so much for you guys, I thought the UK was expensive but it seems not.

      • Jester The Slacker

        200 minutes is very little mate.

    • Jason Masters

      Text free by pinger is a great alternative

  • Heredago

    I don’t know in which world you people are living in but I have a LOT of friends still using non-smartphones or not having data plans. I’m glad with my 10$ VM/CID/2500 TXT Rogers retention value pack and I’m not dropping it anytime soon!

  • Greg

    This explains perfectly why AT&T has tied unlimited messaging to their voice plans. If you don’t already know, if you have messaging unlimited with pretty much any voice plan, you qualify for unlimited mobile-mobile minutes on ANY carrier. Drop the messaging plan and you’re left with possibly going over on your minutes.

    These companies are struggling, trying to find new and more price gauging ways to screw the consumer instead of embracing technology and making these plans more cost friendly. I just downgraded my AT&T plan from $130 to $100/month but to be honest, I don’t use $100/month worth of AT&T services. I work from home so I’m 80% of the time connected to wi-fi, I barely use over 500 minutes so I’m on the cheapest voice plan which is 450 minutes.

    Data for smartphones is so intensive that you dare not downgrade to a 250mb even if you are 80% of the time tied to wi-fi.

    This is crazy…

    • Greg,

      That is EXACTLY why they did that. They tried to make it seem like they were doing us a favor, when they knew what they were doing all along. I don’t knock them, because they have to make money. They just won’t be getting any more of mine than necessary.

      • Greg

        You got it brotha! At first thought I was like… “oh cool” and then I thought… corporations don’t give you dog squat for free so what’s the catch? And here it is… I really wish most of my friends were on iOS devices so I could cancel my texting plan but most are on Verizon and don’t have iOS devices… so I’m stuck!

  • If true, good. I’ve had enough paying more per byte to send data via texts than it costs to send data to the moon. Regarding iMessage, is it only going to be available on iPhones and iPads that have iOS 5? Or will it be downloadable as a standalone app?

  • NPK

    Your data plans in America sound effing expensive ! I’m living in europe (Belgium and Luxemburg) and here, the iPhone 4 unlimited data/calls/sms plan is around 30€ (approx. 42 $) a month. Maybe you get faster web, I don’t know, but for an european, it would be impossible to have a smartphone if we had the same prices you do.

    Love this blog, btw

    • Shannon

      Wow. Unlimited everything for an iPhone with AT&T would be about $130 for one phone. I’m moving to Europe. 🙂

  • Chris

    i use iMessage ( in iOS 5, of course) and love it. It is really wonderful when I’m on a sim using o2 in the UK and I can SMS internationally without huge fees. Works really great prior to a VoIP call “hey Skype?” and we’re off,… Big problem is, other user must also be on iOS 5, otherwise. It’s gotta go Carrier. My jail broken friends have other alternatives but they are not iMessage.

  • Allen

    The “vast majority” of their smartphone customers prefer unlimited data too but uh…they got rid of that. Would LOVE to meet the people they poll to make these stupid decisions.

  • zaba

    att is rip off, i just canceled me and my wifes text plan and saving $20 a month, between whatsapp and textnow am set, most my buddies have whatsapp and nonsmartphone user i use textnow and they give you free text number so anybody can text you,

  • so, ill use imessage + heywire (which gives you a phone number to text anybody) apps for offline friends, and facebook and whatsapp for everybody else

  • :)

    Just use TextNow or TextFree. You can send texts to anyone, even if they don’t have the app.

  • Fabio Rodrigues

    hey guys there is a lot of unlimited here in the US, simple mobile is everything unlimited with 2G data for U$50 (international texts included) or everything unlimited with 2G, 3G and 4G (where it is available of course) for U$60 no contracts, or page plus with U$30 for 1200 minutes and 3000 txt and 100MB data monthly or U$45 with talk n text unlimited and 20MB (data sucks on this plan, but is U$0.10 aditional MB), best of all NO CONTRACT! do you see? only pays more those who have some specials needs

  • Zain

    Sounds really expensive. it’s like free here in Pakistan like i am using WaridTel which gives 700 msgs for rupees 7 (7 days subscription) (0.0823$) and Ufone which gives 8000 msgs like unlimited for rupees 85 i guess (1$) for a month.