Why Apple's FaceTime will bring back video calling from the grave

9 Jun

Video calling has been around ever since 3G networks were first rolled out about six years ago. In fact, it was one of the three key features that were used to sell 3G (faster Internet and live mobile TV streaming being the other two). Ironic as it may sound, video calling never really took off as carriers struggled to provide bandwidth as the number of 3G subscribers ballooned. The experience is usually so pathetic that many handset vendors have stopped giving a front video call camera (why increase the build of material cost, even if it is just a Dollar, when users won’t use the feature?). We have a feeling that the iPhone 4 might just revive the front video calling camera.

It is only Steve Jobs for whom ‘critical’ issues like bandwidth availability don’t matter. His logic is simple: If the carrier cannot provide decent bandwidth for a video call, take the carrier out of the picture. The result is FaceTime, a Wi-Fi only iPhone 4-to-iPhone 4 video calling service. While it is restricted at the moment to only iPhone 4, we can look forward to services similar to FaceTime coming to other platforms/devices, especially Android.

However, FaceTime certainly won’t become standardised any time soon, considering that carriers are completely bypassed and they won’t make any revenues. But that again is one of the benefits of FaceTime – you won’t have to pay extra to your carrier to make a video call of questionable quality – which will make it supremely popular.

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