AT&T Finally Gets The iPhone Picture: MMS Coming Soon


Good things are coming to AT&T and iPhone customers who wait, with AT&T finally revealing the date that MMS functionality -- or, simply, sending pictures phone to phone -- will arrive.

More than three months after Apple unveiled the iPhone 3G S, AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the smartphone, is making good on its promise to deliver MMS functionality to its users. It is, however, missing its own initial deadline.

When Apple rolled out the 3G S in June it revealed that its exclusive domestic carrier would not support MMS at launch, causing users and the blogosphere to call on Apple to ditch AT&T.

The telecom quickly responded, saying that MMS functionality would be available on the Apple iPhone 3G S and 3G before the end of the summer. Details have been sketchy over the past three months but AT&T finally made a statement with the exact date and rationale behind the delay.

"We know many of our iPhone customers are eager for an update on our rollout schedule for Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). We've been working for the past several months to prepare our systems and network to ensure the best possible experience with MMS when it launches -- and that launch date is: September 25 for iPhone 3G and 3GS customers. MMS will be enabled through a software update on that day," the company wrote in a statement.

Well, summer officially ends on Sept. 22 this year, meaning AT&T missed the mark.

Still, Apple's iPhone and AT&T have finally brought customers something that has been more or less commonplace for years. The original thought when the iPhone was first launched back in 2006 was likely that users don't need MMS capabilities due to the fact that the phone is connected to the Web. With that functionality, an iPhone user could just snap a photo and e-mail it to a contact.

Unfortunately, Apple -- and AT&T with its failure to upgrade its infrastructure to support MMS before now -- didn't bank on the fact that sending pictures phone to phone would become an embedded part of the mobile device culture.

The hardware maker, at least, listened to the feedback it was getting from customers and eventually moved to rectify the situation. AT&T, on the other hand, didn't move nearly quickly enough, with other telecoms around the world supporting the feature at the outset.