Put Up Or Shut Up: AT&T To Deliver MMS To iPhone Later Today

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Despite months of waiting and angst by Apple customers everywhere, AT&T is preparing to deliver MMS functionality to the iPhone today, effectively bringing the smartphone to 2003.

The exact time has yet to be confirmed by either Apple or AT&T, but according to reports iPhone owners can generally expect the function to become available sometime in the early afternoon Eastern Standard time.

Apple fans and iPhone owners have been at a low simmer since the iPhone 3G S was in June rolled out without MMS support from AT&T -- even though the smartphone received a software upgrade to support the feature. AT&T was at first silent on the subject before announcing "late summer" availability for the feature.

Of course, AT&T missed its own stated deadline by a few days and recent reports have surfaced that the telecom giant is worried that the new feature might crash its network.

AT&T has likely been working diligently since June to upgrade its infrastructure to support MMS on the iPhone -- something it already does for nearly every other phone in its portfolio. It doesn't seem out of line to speculate that the carrier was aware of Apple's plans to bring MMS to the iPhone well ahead of the iPhone's official launch. After all, AT&T is the exclusive carrier of the device.

Any foul up or network crash relating to MMS will quickly turn the heat up on AT&T, with iPhone users going from simmer to a full-fledged boil.

Finally upgrading its network to support MMS on the iPhone could also be an audition for AT&T to make its case to keep and extend its exclusive agreement with Apple to offer the smartphone. The pact between the Cupertino Crew and the carrier is set to expire at the end of 2010.

After all, some people are clamoring for Apple to ditch AT&T for Verizon Wireless.

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