SMS Text Messaging Turns 20

I can’t believe it. SMS text messaging is 20 years old. Although, it has been around for 20 years, a few people have not use it, or use it sparingly. A few have become billionaires because of SMS, wireless, and telecommunications in general. If you’re curious what the first text message ever was? Here’s an excerpt from CNN’s report.

The first-ever text message was sent December 3, 1992, by software engineer Neil Papworth, to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis, who received the message on his husky Orbitel 901 cell phone. It read simply, “Happy Christmas.”

Six billion SMS (short message service) messages are sent every day in the United States, according to Forrester Research, and over 2.2 trillion are sent a year. Globally, 8.6 trillion text messages are sent each year, according to Portio Research.

SMS messaging is expected to be a $150 billion-a-year industry in 2013, with carriers charging set monthly fees for unlimited texting, or as much as 20 cents per text. The actual cost to carriers for sending a text message is about 0.03 cents.

Xperia X10

It looks like AT&T and Sony Ericsson are collaborating on a new Android superphone called the Xperia X10. It features a 4-inch screen, a 1GHz processor, an 8.1 megapixel camera and up to 32GB of memory. There is no word yet whether the device will run on Android 2.1 or the coveted Android 2.2.

The device also comes with Timescape which allows it to make chronological updates to Facebook, Twitter, SMS and other services. The device retails for $149 with a 2 year agreement with data plan. It will be available August 15.

Finally, here’s a preview of the Xperia X10.

Send Twitter Messages via SMS

The following instruction gives you details how to send Twitter messages from your cell phone? Yes, it’s possible to send Twitter messages via SMS. Twitter does not charge for the service, but standard SMS rates apply from your phone provider.  In my case, my provider is AT&T.

To sign up for the service, just login to Twitter first if you already have an account. Next, go to http://twitter.com/devices. Select your country of residence. USA for me. Then, enter your mobile phone number. Verify your phone number by clicking on the Start button. Once verified, you can send tweets by a text message to 40404.

There are additional commands you can use such as:

FOLLOW username – Start following a user
UNFOLLOW username – Stop following a user
ON/OFF – Turn all Tweet notifications on or off
ON/OFF username – Set Tweet notifications for a user on or off (you’ll still be following them even if you set it to off)
GET username – Shows you the latest tweet from any user
RT username – Retweet a user’s latest tweet
FAV username – Favorite a user’s latest tweet
D username your-message – Send a direct message to a user

iPhone

Another innovative product from Apple has arrived. Its called the iPhone. It’s a cell phone, an iPod, and an internet device all wrapped in one little package. It’s powered by OS X and comes with the Safari browser and a touch screen. Like an iPod, you can play music, videos and display photos. Like the cell phone, it has all the typical features such as SMS and Voicemail. The price is a bit on the high side at $499 in my opinion. This gadget definitely possesses a “wow factor.” It also has the “I want to have one” effect on people. Is it worth the try? Not me. Not for now. The price has to go down considerably for me to get one. In the meantime, I’ll just admire the iPhone from a distance.