Well, it looks like they were telling the truth, for once. Last weekend, a friend of mine just happened to forget that my iPhone couldn't receive MMS messages, and sent me a picture he had taken. So needless to say, I was surprised when I saw the MMS notification, complete with picture, show up on my phone.
I was fully prepared to hop on to TUAW and write up a post, letting everyone know that MMS was turned on a full three weeks ahead of schedule. To be on the safe side, I decided to check with others to see if MMS was working for them. Unfortunately, everyone I asked said MMS was still not working on their phones.
Here at TUAW, we have received several tips over the past few months from individuals who have indicated MMS had suddenly started working for them. Many of these were from people who had also installed an updated carrier settings profile to their phones, which has produced mixed results across the board, ranging from MMS actually working to accidentally removing Visual Voicemail and even the basic ability to make phone calls. Even with these profiles installed, however, most people were still unable to use MMS due to settings on their AT&T account which prevent iPhones from sending media messages and filter incoming messages through their web-based "Multimedia Messaging" platform.
For the record, I was running the iPhone 3.0 software, and I had previously modified my carrier settings, although that hadn't really made much of a difference until now. I had been lucky, in that I had found a profile that did not break anything, and had even temporarily enabled tethering on my phone, which I successfully used for about five minutes to try it out (although when I later tried to use the tethering during a recent power outage, the option mysteriously disappeared from the settings panel after I turned it on). So I had to draw the conclusion that my newfound ability to send and receive MMS messages was probably related to the carrier settings I had previously tinkered with, and I was doubtful that it would last.
Now here we are a week later, and MMS is still working for me. But what's even better: reports are flowing in from around the country that MMS has started working in different markets. There are still quite a number of people out there that don't have it yet, but it looks like AT&T is actually serious about meeting the September 25th deadline. Yeah, it's definitely not "later this summer" as promised, but at least we are finally seeing some progress instead of just vapor dates and promises.
For those who are wondering where MMS has landed, HowardForums has a thread running with many people reporting which locations are up and running. Also, it's worth mentioning that the majority of users who have reported MMS as working have the "AT&T 5.0" carrier profile installed, which is included as part of the iPhone 3.1 update. So be sure to update if you haven't already!
Thanks to everyone who has sent tips in regarding MMS in their area.