Since the launch of iPhone OS 3.0, AT&T has taken a lot of flak over the announced but missing-from-its-network MMS feature. AT&T has also been the subject of multiple lawsuits as customers grow weary of waiting.
In an update posted
on their website, AT&T said that the delay has been a result of preparation for "expected record volume of MMS traffic."
They added that they wanted customers to have an "excellent experience from Day One." Some iPhone users, who love the iPhone, but are disappointed in the network, might say something around the lines of "that would be a change."
Here's what AT&T said in their post:
We know many of our iPhone customers are eager for an update on our rollout schedule for Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). We’ve been working for the past several months to prepare our systems and network to ensure the best possible experience with MMS when it launches – and that launch date is: September 25 for iPhone 3G and 3GS customers. MMS will be enabled through a software update on that day.
We know that iPhone users will embrace MMS. The unique capabilities and high usage of the iPhone’s multimedia capabilities required us to work on our network MMS architecture to carry the expected record volumes of MMS traffic and ensure an excellent experience from Day One. We appreciate your patience as we work toward that end.
We’re riding the leading edge of smartphone growth that’s resulted in an explosion of traffic over the AT&T network. Wireless use on our network has grown an average of 350 percent year-over-year for the past two years, and is projected to continue at a rapid pace in 2009 and beyond. The volume of smartphone data traffic the AT&T network is handling is unmatched in the wireless industry. We want you to know that we’re working relentlessly to innovate and invest in our network to anticipate this growth in usage and to stay ahead of the anticipated growth in data demand, new devices and applications for years to come.
We thank you for your business and look forward to keeping you updated on our initiatives.
The software update will likely be a carrier settings update for the iPhone, rather than a full ROM update. Most people think of Labor Day as the end of summer in the Northern Hemisphere (in reality it's at the Autumnal Equinox around Sept. 21, depending on the year), so AT&T is missing the end of summer deadline they set when iPhone OS 3.0 was launched. Still, if they can come up with a good experience for end users, it's better to be just a tad bit late.