iPhone Trick: Send and Receive Free Text (SMS) and Picture messages from iPhone 3G

If you’re an SMS junkie then you might have figured out that you will have to purchase SMS plans separately starting at $5 for 200 messages as the iPhone 3G rate plans published by AT&T last week did not include SMS.

But before you buy one of those SMS plans, you might want to checkout this simple iPhone trick to send free unlimited text (SMS) and picture messages from your iPhone 3G.

AT&T’s rate plans for the first generation iPhone included at least 200 free, monthly text messages, strangely they have not included it in the iPhone 3G rate plans.

So before you sign up for one of those rate plans, you should checkout this simple, four-step process that will allow you to send free unlimited picture and text messages from your iPhone 3G.

1. Create a new email message.
2. The important part of the trick is to also know the address of the friend you want to send a picture or text message to. Below is the list of common providers:

All you will need to do is enter the recipients 10 digit number instead of xxx..  in the To: box for picture messages depending on the your friend’s carrier.
Alltel = xxxxxxxxxx@message.alltel.com
AT&T = xxxxxxxxxx@mms.att.net
Boost Mobile = xxxxxxxxxx@myboostmobile.com
Cingular (AT&T) = xxxxxxxxxx@mms.mycingular.com
Einstein PCS = xxxxxxxxxx@einsteinmms.com
Sprint = xxxxxxxxxx@messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile = xxxxxxxxxx@tmomail.net
US Cellular = xxxxxxxxxx@mms.uscc.net
Verizon Wireless = xxxxxxxxxx@vzwpix.com
Virgin Mobile = xxxxxxxxxx@vmobl.com

and the following for text messages:
Verizon: xxxxxxxxxx@vtext.com
AT&T: xxxxxxxxxx@txt.att.net
Sprint: xxxxxxxxxx@messaging.sprintpcs.com?
T-Mobile: xxxxxxxxxx@tmomail.net?
Nextel: xxxxxxxxxx@messaging.nextel.com?
Cingular: xxxxxxxxxx@cingularme.com?
Virgin Mobile: xxxxxxxxxx@vmobl.com?
Alltel: xxxxxxxxxx@message.alltel.com?
CellularOne: xxxxxxxxxx@mobile.celloneusa.com?
Omnipoint: xxxxxxxxxx@omnipointpcs.com?
Qwest: xxxxxxxxxx@qwestmp.com

3. Type a message and click send.
4. The message will be sent to the cell phone with the number in the To: box

The same principle works while receiving picture or text messages thanks to the built-in email client (however its not completely reliable). All your friend needs to do is send the picture as an email to the email account that has been setup on your iPhone for you to receive a picture message.

This iPhone trick should work with the original iPhone as well.

As always do let us know if this worked for you.

PS: I had written about this earlier, but at that time it was only for picture messages so I have added some info for the text messages as it is no longer free with AT&T’s iPhone 3G rate plans.


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  • chris

    for text messages, you can use a simpler option:


    the teleflip server auto-detects the sms carrier and forwards. Users can reply.

  • To bad this is not available to all users and some operators also charge you for this service …

    P.S. For thous of you who can use it for free it'll work for every phone and from every email client\server…

  • darwin

    But with AT&T you have to pay for messages you received

  • Alfredo Plessmann

    Does anybody know if this works outside the USA ?
    Venezuela for example? where can i find a list of international carriers ?

  • chris

    this trick does work for sending pics i have unlimited text so i dont need that part but you are correct this method does work for recieving pictures

  • rudds

    any idea whats the address for the exican carrier, TELCEL??
    thanks in advance, this is great hint…

  • bulkzzz

    if i send picture this way to person who doesnt have data plan, when they get it, will they have to pay for some data ?

  • karim

    i dont have txt plan, but i hacked my phone to be able to send free texts so now i just need to be able to receive them for free too. i have verizon and the new chocolate. will this also work for me ?


    the teleflip server auto-detects the sms carrier and forwards. Users can reply."
    ^so when using that server, is sending and receiving texts free ?

  • DrJones

    does any one have this info for vodafone in oz…

  • Kristen

    I am able to send picture messages now, but for some reason I still can't receive them. Am I doing this wrong? How do you set up the email client for this?

    Thank you!!

  • Allysa


  • James

    Can anyone tell me if this would work in Australia?

  • Amanda

    I have tried the steps listed above but keep getting the error message:

    Photo Delivery Failed
    A copy has been placed in your outbox. Operation could not be completed. (MFMessageErrorDomain error 1041.)

    Does anyone have any ideas or tips on what I am doing wrong?

    I sent a picture to a phone number as listed below:

    Please help!

  • Patrick

    it is working for my friend in with xxxx…@mmsnextel.com.mx but i need this for the vodafone company in germany too. is anybody out there who knows how i have to create an email for a vodafone mobile number?


    thx a lot!! 😉

  • Gil

    teleflip no longer works

  • I am currently in Germany and want to send SMS to the Philippines. I can't find a way to make it work. Does this only work in the US?

  • Chris

    you guys are not READING THE DAMN TITLE of the article! This is a trick for the IPHONE.

    unless your little lg chocolates and nokia's have e-mail accounts you can set up, this will not work!

    The concept is simple. on a regular phone, you may email someone (as long as you're txt to email is supported with your carrier).

    From your computer, you may text someone by reversing this role. That is to say that you log into your e-mail and send a message to "xxxxxxxxxx@the phonecarriercarrier.com"

    Seeing as the iphone, or blackberry devices, act as small pda's, this is possible! As long as you can acess your email on your PHONE, this will work. I believe some people reading this are trying to send texts through thier regular sms to email adresses (YES THIS IS GOING TO CHARGE U!) the point is, when you send a text via ur email on your phone device, you're not using the phone itself, you're using the internet- the email. And that is why it sends free…

    however, you might wanna make sure your data plan won't screw you over

  • …….

    …………….who lives there lol

  • bk

    the phone number xxxx@tmomail.net worked perfect for me from iphone good jood

  • ling_ling

    See iPhone app with much more text characters – Text Candy PRo. It is an app to send creative text images and send them to friends and loved ones. Includes ready pctures and movie characters animals and fun holiday text pictures! You can create your own text pictures. Share text pictures via email or Facebook.

  • When your friends reply your SMS in they SMS box, they may have to pay depending on their SMS plan

  • Have you found or is there a way to send to Net 10? If so could you please advise me as to how. Thank you

  • Nat

    can I send pictures this way?

  • 6677

  • Sue

    (I can send to @txt with no problems)

  • Excellent tutorial on saving some good money in the sms messaging arena