Thursday, June 04, 2009

That Which Apple Stands to Democratize

Normally, iPhone rumors get a :rolleyes: and a "Bah!" from yours truly, but TUAW has a couple of pretty interesting ones posted that, together, shape an interesting vision of what Apple could do to make the third-gen iPhone stick out from its newly-emboldened competitors.

First off, TUAW has gleaned from possible pre-release AT&T support docs that the new iPhone may be called the iPhone video. Also, some supposed pics of the new iPhone show a front-facing green LED, the Apple standard for an integrated iSight camera.

iPhone possesses a mass-market appeal and mindshare that is rare among its competitors. When the next iPhone launches, customers will be in huge, snaking lines to buy it, the kind of lines that Palm, RIM et cetera only see in dreams. With such an appealing brand, Apple is in a rare position to embrace an as-yet-unpopular technology and make it indispensable.

Imagine if Apple were to market a video-call-capable phone, that mythical telecom product that companies like AT&T, Motorola and Intel have failed to make popular. The hype-machine and HCI prowess that Apple possesses could turn it from a quirky technology that only early-adopting geeks would use into the must-have killer app for the next two or three years.

Enter the Kotaku-posted rumor that the third-gen iPhone will possess a significantly more powerful graphics processor than its predecessors. In the App Store context, this would have the undesirable side-effect of splintering the iPhone platform. But, with greater graphical chops come greater UI possibilities, and a 3- or 4-way video-conference over a cell network would definitely be a new, leading-edge innovation in the American mobile industry.

I have no clue as to the likelihood of such a technology being announced at the Philnote next week...but I have my fingers crossed. We need a novel use of this bandwidth we keep adding to our cell networks, and video calls/conferences would be an amazing step forward for all involved parties.

No comments: