iPhone Get Video Calling, Ten Years After Everyone Else

I don’t mean to be an Apple basher, honestly I don’t, but I read this BBC article with growing incredulity:

The feature that got everyone talking at the event was FaceTime or video conferencing.

Mr Jobs made a big deal of it by unveiling it as his famous “one more thing” announcement.

He referred to FaceTime as futuristic.

“I grew up with The Jetsons, Star Trek and communicators and dreaming about video calling – and it’s real now,” Mr Jobs told the 5,000-plus audience.

Clearly analysts were impressed by FaceTime and, at a backstage hands-on event with the iPhone 4, a number said that they thought it had the potential to change how people communicate.

Erm, what? They’ve brought out video calling, only with a terrible name. This isn’t new, it’s been tried before and it failed then, as it will this time too. This has been around since 3G networks came in 10 years ago.

Thankfully someone else at the Beeb has some understanding, if not the whole answer:

The iPhone may deliver a better experience – but only over wi-fi for now because Apple hasn’t persuaded the networks to play ball. Which brings us to the real problem with all of these smartphones right now – the technology on the phones is still moving ahead faster than the networks on which they run.

Let’s get to the nub of this, there’s a reason video calling won’t work and it is only partly to do with the network. There’s the small issue of both parties needing the relevant hardware and contracts to so it, which they rarely do. The bigger issue is no one wants to see the other person or be seen, it adds nothing. How many conference calls have you had of late compared to video conferences?

It’s a grandstand feature to grab headlines which will never be used.

On a separate point, sod 3G, where the hell has WiMax gone?

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