Xen Mendelsohn interviews John White:

MMS has not failed; the industry had totally unrealistic expectations of MMS in the first place. MMS was hyped as the natural replacement for SMS, but that shows a misunderstanding of SMS and the reasons why SMS has been such a big hit worldwide. SMS owes its success to its simplicity. It is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way for two people to communicate a short and simple message and as such it serves as an extremely useful communications option that is affordable universally, even among some of the lowest income groups of society.

MMS, on the other hand, has been misunderstood from the start. MMS should be seen more as a mobile entertainment service than as a messaging service. MMS is more complex and expensive than SMS, so consumers are unlikely to use MMS to communicate a simple message, when SMS does the job so quickly and easily and costs so little. MMS will always look like a failure when compared alongside SMS, yet when you consider MMS in its own right, as an entertainment application and content delivery tool, then MMS can be seen as a very popular and successful service.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.