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. Oh, and another thing on iChat; it really requires very little bandwidth. I was in fact able to establish an A/V connection on a DIALUP (!!!). It didn’t last long, but I saw the remote person (about 1-2 frames per second), and i heard them rather well (no drop-outs). They heard me, but my iSight wasn’t able to transmit (33.6kbps is just not enough). I consistently communicate with family in Belgrade, Serbia, with ADSL at 128kbps up/1mbps down. Their image is fluit (5-10fps), audio is uninterrupted. My connection is RoadRunner cable (about 2.5Mbps down/700kbps up) Obviously, my image on their screen is 15fps and clear, as is audio. On many occasions, though, I can see their throughput dynamically drop (during a conversation) to about 40kbps (practically dialup) and it would continue without interruption. I must say, it seems that iChat is most remarkable, robust a/v communication protocol out there.

    I have tried 3-way and 4-way iChat, between NYC, Belgrade, Bruxelles (Belgium) and Stockholm (Sweden). Everyone had broadband (faster than mine, except for Belgrade) and everyone had smooth image and audio. When it works, it works beautifully!

  2. I WAS having problems with iChat 4, but since I disabled internet sharing, it has been working without any problems for me. Previously I tried everything in the apple support forums, but this one simple tip made it work for me. Not a big deal as I do not use the airport for sharing internet at home…

  3. @ChrissyOne…

    Not only will AT&T;not care about VoIP on wireless, they should cheer this option. Thanks to service contracts you’re paying them anyway, and you’re not using their network. Sure, they might not get you with overage charges, but given rollover minutes and free nights and weekends they’re not going to get many of those anyway.

    No question, VoIP will be great on the iPhone.

  4. Goople,

    IChat for Windows already exists (and has existed for last 4 years at least); it is called AIM. It is owned by AOL (the company that owns the network protocols that iChat uses), so there is a very fat (or is it slim) chance that Apple will ever bother (or dare) developing something that already exists, as horrific and dreadful as AIM is (and believe me, it is just ghastly; I’ve used it many times over the years). The only one feature Windows users are missing on AIM, vs. iChat on Mac, is four-way video-conferencing. Not worth the effort for Apple, I think.

  5. @ Darkness

    Totally. Speaking of Rollover, I’m on the $79 iPhone plan, and I think I currently have roughly 17 trillion rollover minutes. So yeah, I don’t think they’ll miss my overages. Considering that so many people use their iPhones for everything BUT calls, I think this might represent a lot of customers.
    The best thing about VOIP for me will be the signal – at my house, the network is OK, but not great, and sometimes I have problems in certain places in my house.
    No problems with the Airport Extreme signal, though.

  6. @Pedrag
    The problem with AIM is exactly as you mentioned. Its not a good app. Also there’s a branding/marketing challenge. It’s easier to explain that iChat is everywhere, than to try to have the masses connect the dots with AIM.

    Also there’s a problem overseas, outside of the U.S. most European people I deal with seem to be MSN focused. I would suspect that depending on AIM for a worldwide infrastructure would be less than desirable for SJ.

    I think he will heavily market iChat for Windows, and then use it as mindshare leverage (iChat+iPhone/iPod touch) to sell more mobile devices.

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