If you haven’t been on this planet for the past several weeks, then I should tell you that Gizmodo have put their hands on a future iPhone prototype.
I don’t really want to delve into the realm of questions running around how much they paid, whether it really is an Apple product, staged or got lost.
Instead, I want to deal with the video chat camera issue – not the question of is it real or not, but what this whole thing really means for mobile video calling.
We’ve had video calling on mobile handsets for over 5 years now. It exists on almost every 3G handset, except the iPhone. It’s been mandated by operators. It uses a protocol called 3G-324M, and our very own stack can be found on millions of handsets out there.
But for some reason, video calling never did catch up.
At the beginning, people said that you need enough people with these phones. And now that there is, it’s still not a killer application.
And still whenever Apple is rumored to release a new iPhone version, there are a lot of complaints from people wanting Apple to add a front facing camera. A front facing camera can be used mostly for one thing – video calling.
So what’s wrong in this picture?
People want video calling. They wouldn’t be whining about the iPhone if they didn’t see it as an advantage.
I think that the answer here is that today’s mobile handsets have usability issues with their video calling feature. And as people view Apple as a company who knows a thing or two about usability, they will be the ones that will do it right.
I am still skeptic about an iPhone with a front facing camera in 2010. I really hope I will be mistaken on this one though.