Seow Tein Hee's Blog

Seow Tein Hee male Former Associate Editor

Attuned to the latest mobile technology and news, Tein Hee is always on the lookout for innovation and creativity in the mobile industry.

The Significance of Video Callling on iPhone 4

WWDC 2010. What a rush it has been, even with the iPhone 4 leaked ahead of the event. But as we've reported in our WWDC coverage over here, there's still lots of features that just got revealed. Like its 960 x 640 resolution display, a gyroscope within the iPhone 4, and as Mr. Jobs puts it as "one last thing", FaceTime or video calling.

A fellow colleague overheard a conversation during lunch, talking about the wonders of having video calls on the iPhone 4. Video call, a feature that has been present for the past few years. Of course, herein lies the debate we've had in the editorial team - is FaceTime really that awesome?

Not so, at least right now. Think about this, video calls made possible only via Wi-Fi till a later date. FaceTime will support 3G networks, but why wait when the infrastructure is already in place? Here's another thing: video calls over the 3G network hasn't picked up due to the lack of support by the service providers. Not to mention that when it first started, there's also the capability of the network to consider. And for that, you also don't see a lot of consumers picking up on the video telephony trend.

On a more superficial level, would you want to be caught talking to your phone? Yes, to your phone, not on your phone.

But forget this not: before the Apple App Store came around, were you a heavy data user? Did you constantly go online to shop for apps? Undeniably, the apps boom created a need, and with it, a demand from consumers to log on. And with it, service providers moved in to supply that need.

So who's to say that with the iPhone 4 and FaceTime, we might see a resurgence of video telephony. Having a conversation with the iPhone 4 might have that cool factor, so to speak.

But until we see some solid proof that the iPhone 4 will be a definite game changer in this area, let's reserve our awe for a feature that's been around. Personally, I'm more excited over the 960 x 640 resolution on the iPhone 4's display.

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