With the introduction of iOS 5 for iPhones, Apple will roll out an update to its iMessage feature. With this version, users will be able to send text messages without using a cell phone network. Apple is not the first to do this, Blackberry Messenger operates the same way, but this kind of technology symbolizes a shift, and according to the Atlantic, exposes how we have been way overcharged for text messaging:
AT&T charges $25 for their 2 gigabyte per month data plan (other carriers are similar). That means you could transmit about three thousand of our hypothetical web pages[697 kilobytes each]. Or your could transfer 12,500,000 of our 160-byte text messages: a cost of $.000002, or 1/5000th of a cent.
In other words, AT&T charges 100,000 times as much for a text message as for the equivalent amount of any other data sent to or from their phones. They also offer a $20-per-month unlimited texting plan. You'd have to send 10 million text messages in a month for that to be equivalent to the data plan.