Originally published: September 1, 2011
Last updated: September 1, 2011 - 12:05pm
The smartphone boom is a mixed blessing for wireless companies. While the devices have boosted data plan sales considerably, they are threatening to kill another revenue stream dead in its tracks: text messaging.
Dozens of smartphone applications offer "free" text messaging services, which allow wireless customers to send and receive texts by piggybacking on their existing data plans. That means people who download those apps -- such as GroupMe, Google Voice, Disco, Beluga, Kik and WhatsApp -- are able to bypass the expensive texting plans offered by wireless companies. What's more, an increasing number of free text messaging services are being baked into the smartphones themselves. (Aug 22)