FaceTime and the death of traditional phone calls.

  • Posted: 06 August 2010 05:46 PM

    For all the talk about FaceTime, I haven’t heard too much discussion about it being a direct offensive against the cell companies (AT&T, Verizon, etc.).  Maybe it’s just me, but this seems like the first step of about a 5-year plan to kill off both cell companies and cable companies.  The way it stands now, most people pay for internet access, cell service, and cable, but is there any reason why all three of those services can’t be provided through one internet connection?

    I know there are some well-established internet phone options like Skype and Google Voice, but with Apple’s momentum and all the FT enabled iPod touches and iPads they’ll soon start selling, it seems possible that FaceTime could become THE internet voice standard.  If you combine that with the rumored new and improved iOS Apple TV, it sure seems like Apple is setting itself up to own both the phone and tv of the future.  Obviously Google is attempting to do the same thing so there will be plenty of competition, but it seems like Apple has the much better foundation in place (iOs & iTunes).

    Even if this happens, someone will still need to provide the internet connection to people, and that’s probably for both the current cell & cable companies to fight over.  But Apple would be in position to provide both the software and the hardware for all these different devices that people use to connect, and I can’t begin to imagine how much potential profit that would entail.

         
  • Posted: 10 September 2010 10:26 AM #1

    FaceTime is rumored to be coming to iChat, and to Windows soon.

         
  • Posted: 10 September 2010 11:37 AM #2

    willrob - 10 September 2010 01:26 PM

    FaceTime is rumored to be coming to iChat, and to Windows soon.

    Will - Is that the wrong link?

    Signature

    .

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 10 September 2010 11:49 AM #3

    Try here.

    Signature

    I’ve never owned a windows PC. Never will.

    High tech Meditation Music

         
  • Posted: 10 September 2010 11:53 AM #4

    mcharliem - 06 August 2010 08:46 PM

    For all the talk about FaceTime, I haven’t heard too much discussion about it being a direct offensive against the cell companies (AT&T, Verizon, etc.).  Maybe it’s just me, but this seems like the first step of about a 5-year plan to kill off both cell companies and cable companies.  The way it stands now, most people pay for internet access, cell service, and cable, but is there any reason why all three of those services can’t be provided through one internet connection?

    Warning: Rambling, incoherent half-thoughts ahead. Proceed with extreme caution.

    I’m a big believer in FaceTime and I think the mainstream tech press is totally underestimating the impact it will have on how tweens communicate.

    But I’m having a hard time seeing this as a revolution that will sweep away wireless phone service. No matter how many wireless hot spots there are, there are going to be huge gaps in coverage that need to be filled in by 3G and it’s successors.

    Will FaceTime cause more and more people to bypass their phone services and use WiFi instead? Definitely. But how does that hurt the Telecos? They’ll still charge us for a minimum number of minutes. They’ll still charge us for both phone and data.

    I think you may be right, FaceTime may change the way people use their phones. But right now, I’m having an awfully hard time connecting the dots.

         
  • Posted: 10 September 2010 04:15 PM #5

    rattyuk - 10 September 2010 02:37 PM
    willrob - 10 September 2010 01:26 PM

    FaceTime is rumored to be coming to iChat, and to Windows soon.

    Will - Is that the wrong link?

    Yes. Sorry. Wrong data on the clipboard from another post. Luckily it wasn’t porn!

         
  • Posted: 10 September 2010 04:22 PM #6

    willrob - 10 September 2010 07:15 PM

    Yes. Sorry. Wrong data on the clipboard from another post. Luckily it wasn’t porn!

    Boom tish.

    There is definitely a bug in OSX where sometimes it doesn’t copy when you ask.

    Signature

    .

         
  • Posted: 10 September 2010 06:25 PM #7

    ignore

    [ Edited: 10 September 2010 06:28 PM by willrob ]      
  • Posted: 12 September 2010 11:58 AM #8

    PED is discussing the FaceTime numbers here: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/09/12/how-apple-could-ship-48-million-facetime-devices-this-calendar-year/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+fortuneapple20+(FORTUNE:+Apple+2.0)

    1) In June 2010 Steve Jobs promises to ship “tens of millions” of FaceTime devices this calendar year.

    2) Gene Munster is predicting 11 million iPhones sold this quarter and 11.4 million sold next quarter although some of those are 3GS’.

    3) The new iPod touch will sell well this quarter and Gene munster is predicting another 10.5 million next quarter.

    That puts FaceTime well over the “tens of millions” level. But now to the rumors.

    4) Apple will start shipping a new camera-ready version of the iPad for the Holiday quarter. Not buying this at all.

    5) FaceTime comes to iChat. I’m more interested in this rumor. I don’t know a thing about the technical aspects of making this a reality. But I do know that putting FaceTime on each and every Mac computer would give FaceTime an enormous boost. With FaceTime on iPhone 4’s, the new iPod Touches and most every Mac, Apple would have a huge eco-system to build on.

    Thoughts?

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 12 September 2010 01:47 PM #9

    First, in my opinion FaceTime is Not Such A Big Deal (TM). Before I get eaten alive for this heresy, allow me to elaborate. I think FaceTime is branded video chat on your mobile device. Video chat on your mobile device is not a new idea and has been widely expected for years, if not decades. It’s been mostly constrained by bandwidth, not by the device in your hand. So Apple’s disruption here is minimal—unlike some of their other technology that is truly revolutionary, this particular one is more marketing-based.

    Next, bandwidth has to follow. If Android ships their own DroidFace or whatever, and as FaceTime traffic grows, huge amounts of bandwidth are required. While it’s a nice idea in theory that you can just kill wireless providers, in reality the demand will eventually be (scratch that, is already there - we’re just waiting) to have video chat on a mobile device anywhere which includes remote spots with no WiFi hotspot conveniently connected to a fiber-optic backbone. So I think this extra demand will help wireless operators expand, not hurt them.

    Finally, from a technological standpoint, the only major leap I’m aware of for this type of application is holograms. That innovation will come on the device, so we might see it sooner rather than later, and by that time let’s hope the bandwidth train catches up.

    FalKirk - 12 September 2010 02:58 PM

    4) Apple will start shipping a new camera-ready version of the iPad for the Holiday quarter. Not buying this at all.
    5) FaceTime comes to iChat. I’m more interested in this rumor. I don’t know a thing about the technical aspects of making this a reality. But I do know that putting FaceTime on each and every Mac computer would give FaceTime an enormous boost. With FaceTime on iPhone 4’s, the new iPod Touches and most every Mac, Apple would have a huge eco-system to build on.

    4) No. Too early, and demand still too high on the original version.
    5) Wait, it’s not already there? smile I’m kidding, but it’s a no-brainer and should happen soon.

         
  • Posted: 12 September 2010 02:50 PM #10

    Can I respectfully disagree Roman. The big deal with FaceTime is the ease of use, something that Apple is famous for. Yes Android have qik messaging but from all reports I have seen it is not as easy to use as FaceTime nor as good quality. Shoot me down in flames if I am wrong but the whole point of FaceTime was to get the geek out of the equation.

    Signature

    .

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 12 September 2010 03:55 PM #11

    rattyuk - 12 September 2010 05:50 PM

    Can I respectfully disagree Roman. The big deal with FaceTime is the ease of use, something that Apple is famous for. Yes Android have qik messaging but from all reports I have seen it is not as easy to use as FaceTime nor as good quality. Shoot me down in flames if I am wrong but the whole point of FaceTime was to get the geek out of the equation.

    I think I’m the minority skeptic here, so not exactly in a position to be shooting anyone in flames smile

    I agree with ease of use, but I’ve used video chat in Gmail (on the MBP), or Skype, and it also works. When I tried video-chatting a few years back, nothing worked even on a laptop because of my constrained bandwidth. All I’m saying is that bandwidth is relatively more important here. FaceTime has nice UI, but who’s preventing Google and others from copying the niceties in the next iteration?

    That said, when iPhone 4 came out, I said (on AFB I believe) “FaceTime is a big deal” - as an iPhone 4 feature. It helps that Apple continues to lead the way both in terms of bringing this to market, and making it usable.

         
  • Posted: 12 September 2010 06:33 PM #12

    Roman - 12 September 2010 04:47 PM

    First, in my opinion FaceTime is Not Such A Big Deal (TM). Before I get eaten alive for this heresy, allow me to elaborate. I think FaceTime is branded video chat on your mobile device. Video chat on your mobile device is not a new idea and has been widely expected for years, if not decades. It’s been mostly constrained by bandwidth, not by the device in your hand. So Apple’s disruption here is minimal—unlike some of their other technology that is truly revolutionary, this particular one is more marketing-based.

    I agree with RattyUK that it’s all about simplicity. There’s no law for this, but there should be. Every additional step it takes to implement a task loses about 50% of one’s audience. By the time you get to the fifth or sixth step, you’ve whittled your audience down to the geek sqaud. The key to FaceTime is that it’s no harder to initiate than a standard phone call.

    I don’t expect FaceTime to be used constantly, but I think it will be easy enough to use that it can be used situationally. And if you’ve ever watched Tweens use a computer when talking to one another, you’ll know that they love to use video while they communicate. That’s why I think the iPod Touch matters. And perhaps why iChat matters even more.

    [ Edited: 13 September 2010 01:50 AM by FalKirk ]      
  • Posted: 12 September 2010 06:34 PM #13

    I agree that FaceTime isn’t anything too revolutionary.  But like others have mentioned, there’s never been a video calling option before that was this integrated into a product as popular as an iPhone.

    Like I mentioned at the top of this thread, I believe the bigger issue here is that eventually all of these different information connections we pay for (home phone, cell phone, cable tv, internet) are all going to be combined into one pipeline.  It may be 10 years from now, it may be 20, but it will happen.  I don’t know if the technology behind this one internet source will more resemble cell networks, wifi, or something totally new.  Maybe it’ll even be free (public service).  Companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon are going to do everything in their power to try and prevent it, but eventually they’ll lose and everything will be consumed over a single generic internet connection available to everyone.  I think Apple sees this, and that’s why FaceTime and Apple TV have the potential to be a lot more important down the road than they are right now.

         
  • Posted: 12 September 2010 07:03 PM #14

    What’s going to revolutionise it is when mobileme offers store and forward facemail that converts and forwards to & from other services. Bandwidth problems solved; no need to even know if recipient has a facetime compatible device.

    What I’m saying is: the reason Apple hasn’t provided any sort of integrated messaging on iPhone may be that they will integrate email, MMS, SMS, voicemail, facemail etc server side.

         
  • Avatar

    Posted: 12 September 2010 07:50 PM #15

    sleepygeek - 12 September 2010 10:03 PM

    What’s going to revolutionise it is when mobileme offers store and forward facemail that converts and forwards to & from other services. Bandwidth problems solved; no need to even know if recipient has a facetime compatible device.

    What I’m saying is: the reason Apple hasn’t provided any sort of integrated messaging on iPhone may be that they will integrate email, MMS, SMS, voicemail, facemail etc server side.

    The “ReQall” service is a favorite of mine.  http://www.reqall.com/about