American carrier AT&T is planning on eliminating its $10 a month messaging (a thousand text messages) come this Sunday. Instead, they’re forcing pricier plans upon new iPhone customers. In their vocabulary, it’s only a “streamlining”, a spokesperson for AT&T told Engadget:

Starting August 21, we’re streamlining our text messaging plans for new customers and will offer an unlimited plan for individuals for $20 per month and an unlimited plan for families of up to five lines for $30 per month. The vast majority of our messaging customers prefer unlimited plans and with text messaging growth stronger than ever, that number continues to climb among new customers. Existing customers don’t have to change any messaging plan they have today, even when changing handsets.

It is obvious the new plans work towards milking iPhone customers for extra profits. Let’s not forget they in January AT&T had also killed $5 and $15 messaging plans. Additionally, their pay-per-message options are clearly overpriced at twenty cents for a text message and thirty cents for a media-rich MMS. Fortunately, carrier-controlled messaging is a dying dinosaur as come this Fall…

…we will have iOS 5 which includes iMessage, Apple’s new messaging platform enabling free exchange of text and multimedia messages between iOS devices (only carrier data charges may apply). Plus, there’s Google Voice, a smart telephony service from Google that lets you text non-Apple phones, including Android handsets, free of charge. Looks like nobody will shed a tear over AT&T’s text messaging plans and if BlackBerry Messenger is any indication, a lot of youngsters – and everyone, for that matter – are going to love free of charge messaging in iOS 5.

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