If the American carriers had sorted out their interconnects like Europe did way back in the 90s, you too would have found what a useful technology the SMS system is, but because the US networks were so unreliable at SMS exchange, everyone resorted to email to send each other messages.
SMS and MMS are GSM standards, not Nokia/Ericsson or anyone else's.
A cross network, cross manufacturer, cross country message push system. If you have a mobile number, you can send them a message (with our without a picture). Most phone contracts include a few hundred of these a month, if not unlimited. So there is no cost.
This cultural difference is one of the reasons the iPhone took so much stick when it first arrived over here. Apple didn't even bother to look at how things were in Europe and only implemented the very basics (any less and they probably wouldn't be able to claim it was a GSM handset!). So when their new wonder phone arrived, couldn't do groups messages, or send picture messages, we all laughed.
They eventually fixed this, and now these features are revealing the cracks in the underlying US cell system.
Now wouldn't you like a system where you can send a message to any of your contacts without having to remember what kind of phone they have, or that Jim's iPhone has had to go back because it needs a new battery and he's using a 10 year old mobile he borrowed? A system that pushes a message onto the phone of anyone, anywhere on the planet (except the USA for previously stated reasons)? Oh, and it does handset delivery confirmation too.
Now tell me how this is backwards?
As for multitasking, are you trying to claim that as the iPhone doesn't do this, multitasking is bad? Good grief man, extract your head, Mr Jobs would like to sit down, and I think you could do with some fresh air.