Apple and WeChat

by Colin Berkshire

I keep getting asked what I think of the new “consumer” messaging services like Apple’s text messaging where you can draw and send emojis.

Worldwide, WeChat and WhatsApp lead the way. I hear that WeChat has over half a billion users. Think about that: it’s twice the population of the United States.

I certainly send and receive WeChats a couple of dozen times a day. But then, I do a lot of business in Asia and in China WeChat is simply the messaging system you use.

I find it funny that Apple is pitching chatting with emojis as their innovation. It’s a sign that Apple is missing the boat.

With WeChat you can leave text or voice messages, you send photos and videos, you make phone calls to other WeChat people. When you meet a new person one of you opens up WeChat and shows your barcode and the other opens up and scans the barcode and you are connected. Oh, and now you can make phone calls for crazy-cheap prices to landline phones using WeChat.

I feel sad for Apple. Deep in their hearts they must know they are just copy-cats these days.

Of course, you can then look at the Verizon and AT&Ts of the world. Those companies are still back in the days of plain text 140 character SMS messaging. Helloooo.

So as we look at Unified Communications and new communications, it’s important to look outside the bubble we are in. Very likely the next generation isn’t here in America.

Occasionally you will run into somebody that’s progressive. Like the Seattle-area county government that let’s you contact them via Skype. (Cool!)