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.


  1. While I can see where you’re going with iChat for Windows, I just can’t see AOL being very happy (or even amused) with Apple developing a (free) application that does exactly what their own application does, on their own networks.

    Then again, Steve Jobs was able to convince music labels to sell songs for $1 apiece, so nothing is impossible. He just might be able to coax AOL into giving up on that AIM (somewhat of a cash cow, with the extreme advertising everywhere), for a (much) greater market share in the IM space. If this does happen, though, it would be somewhat strange, having Apple’s software, on Windows, Mac and iPhone, using AOL’s proprietary instant messaging protocol (AIM). What exactly would be AOL’s benefit, providing back-end technology (ldap, authentication, negotiation, etc) for competitor’s front end software?

    Apple’s decision early on to use AIM protocols for iChat was based on the fact that AIM was (at the time, and apparently still is) the most popular IM protocol (in the US, as well as in the world). By having people create their iChat accounts, he made sure they’ll be able to immediately communicate with all of their friends on AOL (practically half of the online US population at the time). AOL was quite receptive then; it is a question, though whether they would be that receptive to an Apple iChat client for Windows.

  2. @Predrag…I guess what you are saying that my erratic hotel connection problems is probably due to their ISP not having key ports open (mainly video as in many case audio will work).
    The reason I said bandwidth was because in a few cases when I could not connect, a message came up on my screen and said that there was insufficient bandwidth.

  3. For the International traveler, VoIP would be an incredibly valuable addition. I don’t own an iPhone, but if it supported VoIP, I’d definitely be in the market. I would save literally hundreds on calls overseas.

  4. @Predrag

    You need to try and keep up with the rumors and speculation. Here’s why there could be a version of iChat coming to windows.

    The current rumor is that iPhone 2 will have a 2nd front facing camera and will do video calls (ichat) and that these can be done iPhone to iPhone, iPhone to mac and iPhone to Apple TV and vice versa,

    Think about this, if true windows using iPhone owners – which is most iPhone users, will also need to video chat from iPhone to PC and vice versa.

    et voila, this is why there could be a pc version of iChat coming to the pc

  5. To hari Seldon,

    It seems like you haven’t read my previous posts. My point is, there already is an iChat for Windows and it is called AIM. As I had said, I’m not sure AOL will be happy if someone else (say, Apple) goes ahead and releases an instant messaging / videoconferencing client that does exactly as their own AIM does, plus a bit more (four-way videoconferencing).

    On the other hand, There is that OpenAIM project, where AOL is offering free APIs for AIM to anyone who wants to build components that interact with AIM protocols. This includes client software as well.

    Still, we’ll have to see if Jobs can make that deal with AOL for Apple’s own native Windows client (i.e. iChat for Windows). It a looks like the early iPod on Windows; at the time, MusicMatch was the software for managing iPod music library; soon enough, they developed iTunes for Windows. However, there, they didn’t work on anybody else’s property; here, they have AOL’s IM protocols to talk to. As I said, AOL might not be too happy about this.

  6. Hum… Here is the thing… I really hope that APPLE is actually working on a video iPhone for video conference…
    People have been using this for ages in Japan and Europe, and we still don’t have it in America? Who knew? I thought the biggest / baddest country in the world was up-to-date… I guess it ain’t afterall…

    Let me say this: Communication in America is at a Third-World country state…


  7. I have to agree with ポール. For various reasons, US is about four years behind the rest of the world. I have family in Serbia (for those with short memory, US bombed it into the stone age in ’99). Still, their mobile telephony has been 3G for past three years. Last year, the coverage was over 90% of the country (including the boondocks!), and large percentage of people were using their phones for video-conferencing. Yet, in the US, this is still the sci-fi…

    Luckily for Americans, there is Apple…

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