FaceTime VS traditional mobile videocall: why apple acted so naive?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gianly1985, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. gianly1985 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    After FaceTime announcement, some people from countries where mobile videocalling is common since 2004 (like Italy) on 3G networks (especially Hutchinson 3G, or "Three"), are tossing garbage at Apple with a "what's the big deal, the usual fake-innovating Apple" attitude.

    I don't agree with those people, because FaceTime IS an innovation and IS better in almost anyway compared to traditional videocalling:
    - FaceTime offers good quality audio/video, traditional videocalling is rotten
    - FaceTime is country-independent: you just need an internet connection, a wifi router and you're ready to make global facetime calls
    - FaceTime is carrier independent: same as above, you don't need your carrier to support it, you can choose the carrier you want and don't care about the carrier of the person you're calling
    - FaceTime is FREE, traditional videocalling is expensive as HELL (like 2$/minute and even more between different carriers; international videocalls are often not even possible, or if they are you'd better be a milionaire), and you don't have to worry about what's the carrier of the person you're calling or if he's abroad
    - FaceTime is OPEN: this is an advantage over Skype; with FaceTime we will get an excellent compression algorithm but without it being closed and foggy like Skipe's one
    - FaceTime is SIMPLE: you don't have to be a geek and setup skype. This point could be laughed at by some people, but AppStore taught us it is VERY important to provide simple accessibilty and usage to make a service "catch up".

    So, you get it, I like the idea behind FaceTime and I don't agree with the "what's the big deal" attitude of some superficial people.


    Was it really necessary to act like it had never been done (both on stage and in the promotional video), the Jetson/Star Trek reference, a dream come true, etc, considering that in a couple of countries around the world people have been videocalling at least since 2003-2004?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not making a big deal of it, but you can imagine how Apple sounded ridicolous from those countries....why be so "attackable"....they'd better had explained why FaceTime is better than traditional videocalling as I did above...
  2. TobiasKM macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2010
    You can't claim it to be an advantage that it only works on Wifi.. If the Wifi part was an extra feature to make it free, that'd be nice, but it not working over 3g is kind of stupid. It's supposed to be mobile you know ;) But it'll come.

    Facetime might be a good feature for some people, but it's not anywhere near as major as Apple wants to make it out to be.

    And simple? My old LG 3g phone I had 4 years ago had two "Call" buttons. One for Videocalls and one for regular phonecalls. How can it get anymore simple than that? And it had a camera you can spin around, so I could also show people "what I saw".

    Only problem was that I was pretty much the only person I knew who had a videophone ;)
  3. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    Even when it will come to 3G networks, it will be DATA-based. INTERNET-based. Not carrier-based. So you will just have to pay your usual data plan, not those extra-pricey videocall fees. And you don't need your carrier to support it. That is the advantage I was talking about, both on wifi or on 3G networks in the future.

    As far as I'm concerned, if mobile videocalling doesn't catch'up this time, it never will.

    So, like you, I think that it's not guaranteed that ALL people will be thrilled about it, BUT I think this is the best way of "trying" to launch mobile videocalling for the masses so far. Because it's global, it's carrier-indipendent, it only requires data access (via WIFI or in the future 3G).

    We'll see...
    The "simple" part was if compared to Skype and the like.

    But also if we think about traditional videocalling, you had to worry about:
    - is the person I'm calling on my same carrier?
    - does it have a 3G videocalling-enabled phone?
    - is it under 3G coverage now?

    Instead, with FaceTime you just have to see if the facetime button lights up. That could be considered "simpler".

    ps: the "you see what I see" camera swap mode is available for FaceTime too, as showed in apple ads.
  4. kayloh20 macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    You could argue it's the first United States consumer phone to have video calling :p. After all, unless there's some random one I've never heard of, isn't iPhone 4 the first United States phone to have a front facing camera?
  5. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    Well, Ive is British and he acted surprised too :p



    But I see your point...maybe it's totally new for the US, Apple's home market....
    The problem is that kind of events are watched worldwide....as are promotional videos on apple site....
  6. Radioman macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2006
  7. chriskzoo macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2005
    Apple doesn't always innovate the technology, but what they do better than anyone is market it well (i.e. make sure everybody knows about it) and make it dead simple to use. My 71 year old mother can hit the Facetime button and be on the video with her grandkids without a hitch.
  8. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    True, as I explained in the first post.

    I'm just wondering if it was really necessary to act like mobile videocalling never existed before....they could have used the "we're not the first, but we're the best at it" argument as for copy/paste and multitasking...
  9. chriskzoo macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2005
    Why do that? I actually find it puzzling why Apple is really the only company that does product introductions on a consisten basis and does them well. Yes, having Steve Jobs present helps, but If Google did presentations on Android or partnered with HTC/Morotola to introduce their hardware in an Apple like fashion, it might counteract the spin, but they don't. Instead they just put out spec sheets and throw their product out in the market.
  10. nitemare macrumors regular

    Jun 10, 2009
    only problem i see with the Facetime App, besides working on WIFI only right now, is that if the other person doesnt have an iPhone 4 facetime is worthless as you couldnt use it. sure they are submitting it for use as an open standard but until other phone makers/designers incorparate into their phones it will only work iPhone 4 to iPhone 4

    the way to get past the wifi only restriction is to download the app Knocking which is in the app store and allows to make video calls now.
  11. JediZenMaster macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2010
    Well technically the HTC Evo 4G is the first phone released to a us based carrier that offers video calling on sprint. But i think facetime looks alot better though :D
  12. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    Well, not to provide apple haters/competitors an attackable claim? Not to sound ridicolous (the Jetsons...) in countries where videocalling is something associated with the last decade (2000-2009)?
  13. gdlcjr macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2009

    That is why we all need Iphone 4. :)
  14. gceo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    The simple fact is that something that has been around for years, will finally be made ubiquitous by Apple, where everyone else failed.

    I see posts from several people talking about how they had it on this phone, and that phone for years... but the truth is, you never see it in the wild.

    I will bet dollars to donuts that we'll see Facetime all over in the wild just weeks after launch.

    So, again, Apple didn't steal/poach anything. They took existing ideas, and actually made them work, and available to the largest audience yet. And us as consumers are again winners, because every other handset manufacturer will re-address this feature.

    You don't always have to be creative to be successful, just powerful.
  15. BeyondtheTech macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2007
    I think Jony Ive is also part of their marketing strategy. Everyone loves a British accent. I think I read somewhere that he's actually from Detroit.

    I'm Asian and I pull off a few accents for a good raise of an eyebrow of unsuspecting individuals.
  16. Aves macrumors newbie


    Jun 11, 2010
    isn't he from Chingford UK? I'm sure I've read it somewhere..(it's written in Wikipedia but I'm not referring to that..)

    gianly contact me ASAP plz ^_^
  17. corriewf macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2009
  18. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    Just to play devil's advocate here...

    FaceTime only works on WiFi and only with another iPhone 4 where as traditional video calling works with ANY phone that is capable of handling a video call.
    And no, they both don't have to be on the same network as you listed above.
    May be pricey, but it still works regardless of the carrier.
    Carriers route the video feed for the traditional video call over the data network.

    I just don't see the advantages of FaceTime unless it can go over the cell network and be phone independent.
  19. SimonTheSoundMa macrumors 6502a

    Aug 6, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    Almost all 3G capable phones have had front facing cameras since they first launched.

    We have had it since at least 2003, when Three launched: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutchison_3G#United_Kingdom
  20. hefeglass macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2009
    I'm wondering if I'll be able to do face time chatting on a flight...i mean, if it works over wifi, then i would think it can do it....im excited about that prospect..not just calling someone from a flight, but video chatting with them!
  21. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    Of course NOW traditional video calling is more widespread, but if FaceTime catches up (as an open industry standard) you'll be able to facetime-call a lot of people.

    I never said THEY HAVE to be on the same network, but it is a common concern (at least here in Italy) because it costs a lot more and nobody want to spend a fortune on traditional (awful) videocalling. So it's common to ask yourself that question. That's what I meant.

    But they charge you like it is a pricey phone call. When I say "data based" about FaceTime_over_3G, I mean that will use megabytes from your data plan and not be charged per minute like a call. (as the traditional videocall). So you have the control, not the carriers. They don't even need to support it (not every carrier support videocalling), you just need a data plan.

    If it will catch up as an open standard, it will.

    If it doesn't catch up, it will be a niche and relative-to-relative or lover-to-lover (so calls and even phones can be ARRANGED in advance) stuff LIKE traditional videocalling is ;) But at least free, with better quality, country-independent.
  22. ct2k7 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2008
    London or Florida
    He's definately Chingford. Though his accent doesn't reflect that area at all :eek:
  23. Murkurial macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2008
    And as long as the iPhone stays locked to ATT we'll have to worry about using too much 3g with FaceTime. Those with other carriers (and better data plans) will be alright IF FaceTime really becomes mainstream (as long as it stays WiFi and iPhone to iPhone, who knows how long that will take) but that's still an IF and I won't assume that the magical Jobs will get every other handset manufacturer on board with this FaceTime business especially if they're gonna have to change up their 3g data plan prices to compensate for the increased infrastructure.

    I agree that Jobs and co. regularly oversell everything as revolutionary, but I don't agree that this FaceTime stuff really is as innovative as you're making it out to be. Will 3g even be fast enough to give you a feed that isn't choppy? It's bad enough trying to stay connected to phone calls on ATT so I don't trust that 3g videocalling will be any more reliable right now.
  24. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    Anything would be better than the current videocalling over 3G (pricey+awful)....

    About it being innovative, I explained why I think so. As usual, it's about the execution, like for AppStore. But it doesn't guarantee it will become mainstream...it could be an answer to a question nobody is asking.

    About your concern about ATT data plans, I hope carriers will come up with adequate plans when the time of facetime going 3G will come. Hopefully that time will come when the network will be ready to bear it and so ATT will be able to give you better plans. With all this "post-pc era of tablets", "everything cloud-based", etc. stuff going on, I hope for great enhancements in the networks in the next 1-2 years. I'm not saying that "Facetime everywhere" is happening tomorrow. But today, 5 years after WWDC 2005 (webkit going open), you can find webkit in every nokia, palm and android handset.
    FaceTime today is a start. Like iPad is a start. You gotta start sometime....
  25. sectime macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2007
    HTC EVO...
    I was listening to some mobile phone podcast last night. Great quote from it, "Apple is great at turning a limitation into a feature"

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