iOS 5 introduced iMessage, a service that seeks to replace text messaging. Carriers view text messaging as a special, astronomically priced type of data - iMessage undoes this madness and uses your dumb data pipe to send text, pictures, and videos to users identified by their email or phone number. It cleverly falls back to text messaging if the recipient isn’t on iOS 5.

Since most of my friends are iPhone nerds, I wondered what the introduction of iMessage would do for my text-message usage. Here’s some early data:

Three months into iOS 5, I’m using a trivial quantity of text messages. I currently pay $10/month for up to 1000 messages. Assuming these bill at 20c/message (it varies depending on your plan, I’m told) I could cancel my messaging plan and end up paying less overall, even at that outrageous price. I’ll wait another two months to confirm this massive drop - then it’s time to get all Cancellor Valorum on AT&T’s ass.

(Bonus clarification: the service is called iMessage. The app is still called Messages. And the thing you send with it? It’s just a “message”. The way Apple words it (“iMessage is built into Messages”) sounds like they might bring iMessage to other apps. From their marketing copy to god’s ears.)

Update: adjusted the image to fix the iOS 5 launch date.