The future is here according to Steve Jobs. Maybe he should tell Pixar to make “Back to the Future 4″ cause there sure were a lot of “time travellers” who tried video-calling five years ago.
Video calling is fun. Once. Then you never use it again. I’m surprised Apple is pushing FaceTime the way they are. This is definitely not a technical revolution. But neither was the iPod. We had mp3-players before. But the iPod made it easy to listen to music on the go. My old Nokia 3G-phone had the same “video-call” button as the iPhone 4 has. So Apple is not making it easier. It was easy, but not useful. I don’t see how this will change everything. Again.
At first I laughed at this being WiFi-only even though Steve Jobs said they were working with carriers to support it on (I really wish he would just say AT&T instead of carriers though. Carriers over here in Norway have no problem with 3G video-calls or tethering.) I’m no expert on telecom specifications but I believe the video-calling is part of the 3G-standard. That’s why it works on all types of phones. So why is not Apple using this? Cause it is 3G-only. Apple wants video calling to be ubiquitous: phone to phone, phone to computer, iPad to computer. If Apple had chosen to use the 3G-standard video-calling then it would have only worked from iPhone 4 to all other 3G phones, not to other devices over the net. So is Apple going after some of Skype’s market here? For many video calling is the entry to Skype. Then they continue to use it and pay for skype to phone.
With this new standard they are making public, Apple must wait until other phones support it. That surely hinders the success of this feature. Even if people suddenly start to make video calls, how many people can you call with your iPhone 4 within the first year?
(Cross-posted @ Inspired? No)