Whatsapp with texts?

Spending money to send a traditional SMS may soon be as laughably old fashioned as dressing up like George Formby and riding your penny farthing to the bazaar to buy moustache wax. (Ok, so that's what all the hipsters are doing tomorrow - bad example.)
ANYWAY, instant messaging is what the skint kids are into these days, according to research firm Informa, which found that freebie chat apps like Whatsapp and Viber have overtaken SMS.

In 2012 almost 19 billion IMs were sent per day from apps, compared with 17.6 billion texts.
Research by another company Ovum, suggested that almost £15bn was lost last year thanks to chat apps.

So does this mean the end of the humble text message? Not quite. Not everybody is a new fangled First World idiot with customised Nikes and a smartphone. A large proportion of the global community are still communicating via antiquated Nokias, and for them, SMS is the only way to go.

Even so, mobile companies are going to have to do something about this new trend if they’re going to protect their revenue. With billions of dollars being lost, maybe Nokia should think about taking that Whatsapp button off their new Asha 210...?


  • rizzo
    Why would Nokia care? It's surely the networks that would lose out? After all, people still need devices to put Whatsapp on, right? And I can't see the networks getting too concerned - after all, nearly all tariffs are currently coming with unlimited texts anyway. the profit model for text messages went ages ago and data is the new money-getter for the networks. The networks are now offering unlimited minutes and texts on most of their tariffs which tells that they have made a switch into getting most people on £30+ a month tariffs and generating a consistent level of ARPU out of each customer that way.
  • Grammar N.
    I agree that with the advent of unlimited texting this isn't a massive issue, but you would still imagine that networks would be less inclined to push Nokia products that have a dedicated whatsapp button.
  • Ian
    the Nokia Asha 210 is being marketed as a 'cheap' smartphone and only being released in Latin America, China and India. Their target market is lower income users who perhaps wouldn't purchase a smartphone, so the networks are probably going to be fairly keen to push this phone. If it convinces someone to upgrade their ageing 'brick' phone to one that uses a data allowance, the networks have generated a new revenue stream.
  • Sawyer
    Worth mentioning that Whatsapp isn't just text, it's capable of multimedia messages too. Most networks that offer unlimited texts still charge 30-40p out of bundle for this. Plus, not *everyone* has unlimited texts: many popular 'yoof' PAYG tariffs are still limited. If networks got with the times and bundled texts and MMS at a reasonable cost (ie. virtually nothing), Whatsapp wouldn't have a market.
  • jaffacake
    we send 17.6billion texts per day in the uk? that's around 300 for every resident man, woman and child. per day? I think that "fact" cannot be. I get a similar figure for your 19billion IM messages.
  • LL J.
    @jafarcack Where does it say UK?
  • DragonChris
    I'm pretty sure I saw an article about WhatsApp becoming a premium service in the near future...?
  • Joe B.
    DragonChris, Whatsapp is already a premium service (in not being free). Costs $0.99 yearly.

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