Apple iPhone’s next killer apps: VoIP and videoconferencing

“The upcoming iPhone 2.0 software is just around the corner and we all may be surprised how Apple’s unified communication solution could merge mobile communication with VoIP, PCs, Macs, iPhones and even Apple TVs,” Christian Zibreg writes for TG Daily.

Zibreg writes, “We took a hard, long look at the information that is available right now from reports as well as patent filings to give you an outlook what Apple might be up to, why we are quite certain that VoIP and videoconferencing will be the iPhone’s new killer applications.”

Zibreg reports that Apple “will put a block on VoIP calls over the cellphone network, but not on calls made over Wi-Fi networks. So, if you’re near public Wi-Fi hot-spot or a Wi-Fi network at your home or office, you will be able to phone other people for free using VoIP software. With that in mind, many wonder: Will Apple roll out its own VoIP solution with the iPhone 2.0 software update?”

Zibreg writes, “Apple doesn’t even have to create VoIP software for the iPhone from scratch, it already has one: iChat… With iChat running on an iPhone you would be able to place voice or video calls through Wi-Fi network to other iPhone users or iChat users on a Mac, effectively bridging desktop and mobile worlds. If Apple brings iChat to Windows, which will happen sooner than later anyway, VoIP/video calls could extend to potentially millions and millions iChat users on PCs.”

More in the full article here.

41 Comments

  1. iChat for me is a hit or miss application. It seems so dependent on having a pretty high speed link that a number of hotels networks just won’t support it. In fact, around the world I have more misses than hits.
    Therefore unless this balance improves somewhat, I am afraid more people (PC people) will be pissed rather than happy with Apple.

    But when ioChat works….its a beautuful thing.

  2. Wait a min. Wasn’t this done already as a concept during the Mac Hack something event? I can’t remember the name exactly, but I’ll have to do a search. The part attached to the top of the iPhone and little mirrors do the rest.

  3. I iChat with my Mom in another town via my Macbook and her iMac. She is on DSL lite and I am on DSL medium. It works pretty good at that bandwidth, but not super. Never tried three way.
    If they can fit the iSight into the thin Macbook screen, then hopefully they could fit it into an iPhone regardless of how it might suck the battery life. Still waiting for my Jetson iChat wristwatch with iPod remote.
    Timex does have a nice but pricey iPod controller watch.

  4. T-Mobile had a phone that did this: it used VoIP when near a WiFi access point, then seamlessly switched to the cell network when the WiFi signal became too weak. The idea was that phoning from home your phone wouldn’t require the cell network.

    I doubt AT&T;would be happy with this, although they might allow it if it were restricted to switching between AT&T;cellular and AT&T;broadband.

    C|Net Article about T-Mobile Phone

  5. He lost me with “If Apple brings iChat to Windows…”. This tells me this guy did very little research. There is this software alled AIM (AOL instant Messenger), which has been “iChat for Windows” since the appearance of iChat (for Mac). IChat operates on AIM networks, which have existed before Mac OS X and iChat concept. To anyone who has every tried AIM (and I had to, in order to communicate back to my home Mac via iChat), AIM is a high-ranking contender for the worst monstrosity ever written for Windows, and version after version, it gets worse.

    As for iChat not working for some, unlike Skype (which can wiggle itself almost through any firewall, even using TCP on port 80 if necessary), iChat requires UDP, with plenty of open ports in order to allow A/V connection. Once the ports are open, though, it is much more robust, stable, smooth and bandwidth-conscious than Skype.

    I wouldn’t be surprised, though, to see Skype for the iPhone (the first version, without the dual camera setup). Too great of a temptation to be passed up Especially since they already have a Mac version; how hard will it be to transcode it, considering that the core OS is more-or-less the same?

  6. @ Rob Menke

    I doubt AT&T;would have anything to say about it if it wasn’t on their network. The auto-switching part might be dicey, but I see no reason that WiFi transactions are any of AT&T;’s business.

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