Thursday, June 18, 2009
The REAL reason MMS isn't on the iPhone at launch and wasn't in iPhone OS1.1 or 2.0 ...
I'm not sure if anyone has said this somewhere else online ... I googled for it and couldn't find anything. I do know that the "Let's bash AT&T bandwagon" Is in full gear. Most of the time these "gang ups on AT&T" happen, it seems suspiciously initiated by a Verizon executive troll. What surprises me the most is that WebStar geeks like John Gruber join in the gang bangs without any research.
The reason there hasn't been any "Picture Messaging" (also called Multimedia Messaging or MMS) is because of the lack of security with the current way MMS is approached. AT&T is being very coy and secretive about this so as not to draw attention to it. Many have interpreted the relative silence from AT&T as a "network capacity issue" - it's not. It is solely a security reason.
Why would I say that?
A few months back my teenage step daughter had a new ringtone on her phone (A Samsung BlackJack II). I was immediately upset because I had told her not to buy ringtones. I explained to her that usually there were hidden charges with ringtone service providers. She explained to me that she had not purchased the ringtone at all and proceeded to show me a website where one entered their email address and phone number. The website sent the cellphone an MMS message. When the message was saved, it spoofed the phone into thinking "the picture/video" was actually a ringtone.*
* I won't get into the fact that my step daughter uses a Dell and this same website loaded spyware, adware, and malware onto her install of Windows XP.
For a day or two I researched this website and how the MMS spoofed as a ringtone*.
* Link above includes spoofing SMS & MMS for ringtones
Since the iPhone has the ability to email pictures - which I prefer - I've never really cared about MMS. My wife has an iPhone and she's just about the only person I'd care to receive pictures from on an immediate "gotta see it now" basis.
So ... for all those that seem to be bashing AT&T - for the wrong reasons* - I submit, that you do your research.
* Yes I'm implying that AT&T might need some bashing for valid reasons
The iPhone OS 3.0 has quite a number of new security features. It is my speculation that AT&T's delay is merely based on implementing this new security into a specific iPhone MMS model so that there can't be any "ringtone spoofing" or executable / malicious code" sent to iPhones.
If you have any technical insight you could provide ... please post it to the comments.
[UPDATE] See this on Engadget:
Apple patching nasty SMS security hole