(See Me, See Her refers to the 1978 book by John Pepper, a man who spent years trying to decode the Ulster dialect for the good of it’s people)
For a couple of years I had a Sony Ericsson K800i on the Orange network. I used it as a phone, as a camera, I used it for email, I tethered it over Bluetooth to my laptop as well as to my Nokia N800 proving internet access where there was no internet access and I very seldom surfed on it because the experience was so painful. I also didn’t buy any apps though I did download one.
The camera, though only 3.2 Mpixel, was excellent but the K800i had two cameras – the second was front facing and while I may have launched the app which controlled it a couple of times, I never once used it for it’s actual purpose – video calling.
Now, by all accounts, the next iPhone will have a front-facing camera which will enable all sorts of video-calling shenanigens. This is based on some leaked photos and the appearance of a lense and CCD just beside the ear-piece. On top of the video calling rumours is the rumour that iChat, long the province of the Mac, will finally make it to Windows as well.
Some folk reckon this will go the way of past efforts in video-calling and there’s a chance they are right. But the difference I foresee is that when I had a K800i, I didn’t know anyone else with a K800i. I had no idea if the video-calling feature would work with any other phones. No-one had a data package or a calling package that included any reasonable amount of video-calling minutes.
That’s not the case now. We all have unlimited “fair use” data plans with monthly limits measured in the hundreds of megabytes. And nearly everyone I know, bar a couple of holdouts, has an iPhone. I mean, iPhone, despite having a low market share, is one of the easiest to recognise and most widely used phone models. And the video-calling software included with the iPhone v4 will be typically easy to use. It’ll tap into iChat (possibly, AIM), Game Center (definitely) and likely allow you to call home to your MobileMe-connected Mac. These factors will, I believe, fuel future adoption of video-calling.