How Important is FaceTime? Do You Need a FaceTime Strategy?

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July 31, 2010

in iphone, Networks, Knowledge and Social Media, Skype + VoIP, Strategy Formulation

A month ago I circulated some blog post ideas to friends on Apple Facetime. I got some feedback that they were interesting. In the meantime I’ve continued to trace Apple’s FaceTime video solution for iPhone and contemplate the implications. Ultimately, I’m interested in the opportunities FaceTime is likely to create and present. Then what it could mean for users.

I wrote three different pieces just one week after I took home 3 iPhone4’s on launch day. I titled them (below) and sent them out. My interest tracking against how technology changes are likely to impact on the office, the home, and in the types of conversations we ultimately have. For me FaceTime is a Skype-like launch moment. It’s a point in time where everything effectively just changed. It’s as important (as an event rather than in technology) to the future of communication as touch was to redefining mobile handsets in 2007 or Skype’s original launch. I’ll publish these next week.

  1. FaceTime – Has Apple Suckered the Operators Again?
  2. FaceTime – Call it SIP 2.0?
  3. FaceTime and the Enterprise – Apple’s New Threat to RIM

Since then I’ve been watching for other snippets of information around FaceTime. I’d add to these updates on the iPod Touch that must be coming. Example. More iPod TOuch FaceTime Details Appear which includes details about your apple ID and the ability to use multiple profiles and multiple email addresses. FaceTime and Music Perfect together. While I doubt this given the way audio codecs work it’s an angle I’ve experimented with before using Skype and gaming makes this interesting. Then there are other posts on the URL approach and how 3GS phones recognize them. iPhone 3GS recognizes FaceTime URL’s in IOS 4

Some additional signals that don’t related directly to FaceTime and yet demonstrate an emerging understanding of mobile voip implications. AT&T started charging for data. Skype gave up on the idea of charging a fee.

FaceTime interests me as a user, observer, researcher and strategist. FaceTime is really nothing new. All the pieces, and the inevitability of it have been in play for years. Just like “dumb pipes” and “stupid networks”. Yet FaceTime redefines what’s under the hood in a way that other handset and OS manufacturers and developers must take notice of. What should Nokia or Android do? Samsung? How’s Facetime changed the relationship of handset manufacturers with Carriers etc? What are the implications for Cisco? Avaya? etc? in the enterprise?

My guess is many of these companies still can’t answer a FaceTime strategy question – with a straight or simple answer. From my perspective it remains an upstream signal… and and one from which a number of different scenarios could test alternate views of how things could play out.

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