Q: I am unable to send or receive picture (or video) messages on my iphone. Is this normal? Shouldn’t a device as sophisticated as the iPhone be able to send and receive picture messages? It seems like such an odd omission that I have to assume that I’m missing something.
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The iPhone does not presently support Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS), which is normally required to support picture and video messaging services. Only basic text messaging (SMS) is supported.
You can send and receive photos with the iPhone via e-mail, of course, using your default e-mail account (as specified under Settings, Mail, Default Account). Further, many cell phone carriers do provide e-mail to MMS gateways, which normally take the form of the recipient’s cell phone number followed by the carrier’s MMS gateway domain. For example, to send a message to somebody on the T-Mobile network you would send it as an e-mail to a number such as 9175551212 @ tmomail.net. A user in our iLounge Discussion Forums has created a helpful post with common MMS gateways for U.S. carriers listed in the thread How to SEND MMS from the iPhone.
Likewise, many carriers also offer the ability to send MMS messages to an e-mail address. If you wish to receive picture messages on your iPhone, the sender should be able to simply address the message to your normal e-mail account, which the iPhone will download as it would a normal e-mail message.