So the iPhone 4 is here and has video calling...
I've seen various reaction to this, including:
"WTF, WiFi only" or "Well, duh, Europe has video calling for ages on 3G (although no-one uses it)" or "yeah, but it's iPhones only" and some rather extreme fanboy ones that I won't bother repeating.
In it's current form I think FaceTime is more of a marker or a technology demonstrator. It's not very useful as long as it is iPhones only simply because you can only call people with iPhones. Apple isn't stupid, they know this.
However, it's been built on (IP) standards so I think we can expect FaceTime to appear on Mac's pretty soon one way or another and most likely the iPad2 when it comes out. It won't take long before the ability to connect to other devices supporting the same standards appears. I think it's more of a direct challenge to Skype, made easy to use.
It's WiFi only (at the moment) to get people to try it without worrying about the cost, which would be punitive under 3G. People may not do video calls on 3G much, but they do them all the time on Skype.
And there's probably a good reason that it's been done with IP-centric protocols rather than 3G/UMTS video calls. That is a bet on the future.
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