Two factors are threatening the SMS supremacy. Mobile owners are testing new way to communicate and have an natural inclination for free systems.
SMS is still dominant. In the US, 72% of respondents stating they depend on it, of which 53% said they would be lost without it, according to Acision. But the future for old fashion short message is not bright, because the users are exploring new ways of communicating simultaneously. In the Acision poll, we can read that 79% of American smartphone users are today using multiple messaging services, including SMS, MMS and IM/Over-the-top (OTT) applications. It’s the same all over the world. According this time to Arbitron, its panelists - in UK, USA and China - spent 22 to 23 % of their smartphone time messaging (email, instant messaging, general messaging, MMS messaging and SMS messaging).
Less messages with SMS
Same thing again with InMobi. According to its new study , 46% of worldwide mobile web users indulge in instant messaging. Smartphone owners are using less the SMS and more IM, mainly because instant messaging applications are free. According to Informa, the IM app user sends more than 32 messages a day, the SMS user just 5. So even users for IM applications are less than SMS users, the worldwide volume of instant message will be bigger than the SMS volume in 2013. Same thing at the local level: Hong Kong's Office of the Communications Authority reported a strong decrease in the number of messages exchanged, according to Business Monitor International.
IM is not perfect
In Januray 2013, almost 11 million SMS messages were sent (- 58,9 % year over year) and 19,8 million received (- 44,4 % yoy). Some are calling this the WhatsApp effect, but it's not only a US based game. As we could see in this L'Atelier report, the players are everywhere : South Africa, China, South Korea, Japan, and tend to be global... Will IM applications replace SMS ? Not sure, as the IM concept is not the perfect one according to the mobile users interviewed by Acision. From their point of view, with the ideal messaging service, you can reach everybody, regardless of the type of messaging app they are using, you can receive a message on any device and you have a single conversation history of all messages, regardless of the app or device used.