Messaging is a hairy beast of telecom.
SMS is there, works always, doesn’t consume data, 100% penetration but technically quite restricted.
MMS lever really took off. Sometimes you use it without knowing (sending an SMS to two recipients is one such scenario). Across borders it’s really dead.
OTT solutions are hugely successful, but there are a lot of them and they don’t collaborate so they are all different size “islands”. In order to communicate with friends using OTT, you first need to establish that you live on the same island.
Apple does their own solution in the form of iMessage. So the cult has their own little island.
Google is all confused with their Hangouts, Allo, Duo and the native Android messenger. Unlike Apple, they do have apps for the competing OS. (There is no iMessage app for Android but there is Hangouts for IOS)
And then there is the RCS initiative. RCS is taking the OTT back to the operators. Given backing by Google, it’s supported by all Android handsets (as always with the catch that Android is heavily fragmented over the different OEMs ability to keep them updated), but the biggest obstacle is still that it’s not supported by Apple. Given Apples market share in a number of key markets (including the US of course), Supported by only a subset of operators, a subset of handset OSes and a subset of the OEMs of the handset with the proper OS will eventually become a rather small base.
But this might be about to change. If Apple eventually joins the RCS bandwagon, this suddenly has momentum again. Fingers crossed! LINK