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Thursday, November 20, 2008, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Apple authorizes MMS on the iPhone, but not for US users

Swedish iPhone owners will soon have something they can hold over the heads of most other users of the touchscreen handset: an Apple-sanctioned way of sending and receiving picture and video messages.

According to a report published by Macworld Sweden, Apple has given the go-ahead to its regional wireless partner Telia to develop its own MMS application for the iPhone.

MMS (or Multimedia Messaging Service) functionality has stood out among a short list of glaring omissions from the otherwise cutting-edge handset. The cellular standard, which can be found on a wide variety of mobile phones, offers a simple means of sending multi-media messages that include images, audio, video and rich text.

Out of the box, iPhones only support SMS (or Short Message Service), which limits transmissions to short text-based message. This had lead some users to hack their iPhones in order to gain MMS capabilities, or attempt to emulate multimedia messaging through the use of special email address and the handset's built-in Mail application.

It's reported that Telia will be ready to push their MMS application into users' hands within the next couple of months. So far there's no word that Apple has approved similar applications for iPhone users in other regions.