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  • Apple Planning Video-Enabled Social Network: Analyst


    The revelation that the next-generation iPhone would feature a front-facing camera pleased many iPhone users and industry observers who had been clamoring for such a feature for some time. One analyst, however, thinks the camera is all a part of an Apple plan for a whole new kind of social networking: one that lets users share video of themselves while gaming or interacting. There are other mobile devices that have front-facing phones, and they're used for video calls (where the network supports that feature) and self-portraits... as well as mirrors. Noting that Apple can - and often does - make big, game-changing moves that create a whole new type of product or service that didn't really exist before, or only on a small scale (iPod, iTunes Store, iPhone, etc.), analyst Ezra Gottheil predicts that Apple is going to turn cameras-in-your-face into the next big thing.

    Referring to Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer's announcement that Apple's margins may drop due to "future product transitions," Gottheil, a senior analyst with Technology Business Research, told Computerworld that he thinks this means "Apple is going to push into video conferencing, video social network or video social gaming." He's combining the camera news with the ongoing mystery about the purpose of what he calls "a humongous data center" Apple is building in North Carolina and suggesting that the two are more closely related. Many observers have opined that the data center is likely for some future Apple online offering, such as a cloud-based iTunes that would combine music/video sales and storage in the cloud. Gottheil allows that "Apple needs to get into the online services business," but disagrees that they'd be doing what other companies have done, saying that Apple's service "can't be plain vanilla."

    Instead, Gottheil's idea is that Apple would use the data center to route the video communications between two different devices. They'd create "an application or two" to generate interest in the service, and then allow developers to create a whole range of networked, video-enabled apps that would allow users to do things like see and interact with each other as they game. This would allow them to "create a compelling and very sticky subscription service," Gottheil wrote in a research note to his clients on Wednesday.

    In addition to the "lost and found" iPhone prototype, there have been indications that a future iPad model may also sport a front-facing camera. A teardown of the iPad done on the day it was released showed that there was a space for a component about the size of the iSight cameras used in the MacBook line, as well as a hole in the touchscreen glass for the lens.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Planning Video-Enabled Social Network: Analyst started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 27 Comments
    1. purpl3_bug's Avatar
      purpl3_bug -
      What if we r talking to someone on the phone and the front facing camera turns on by itself...will they see the inside of our ears? =p
    1. stlcaddie's Avatar
      stlcaddie -
      LOL, maybe the front facing cameras can see the 3.1.3 jailbreak that's NEVER going to exist anytime soon.
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      I don't get that picture, why are the buttons on the wrong side of the iPhone, even it was reflected in the mirror and erm...
      Too confusing.
      ^Yeh what's up with that,if they can jailbreak 4.0 with "recycled" exploits, why not release a 3.1.3 jailbreak, the iPhone is sooo f**king lame and stale with the ugly grey UI I want a jailbreak.
    1. Bluprint's Avatar
      Bluprint -
      This is kinda freaky IMO
    1. badbrain88's Avatar
      badbrain88 -
      Quote Originally Posted by stlcaddie View Post
      LOL, maybe the front facing cameras can see the 3.1.3 jailbreak that's NEVER going to exist anytime soon.
      Is that for 3GS? I've been happily using 3.1.3 on my 3G since it came out. Never had any prob's, even with unlock.

      I didn't want to upgrade from 3.1.2, but had to restore at the same time, so I did.

      Man, iPhone 4(HD) is going to be such a sick upgrade. I can't wait to have a faster phone. I think the new volume button layout is gonna make Glovepod a lot easier to use.

      June/July? Bring it on. Then off to DC for August, so might just have to pick up an iPad too. Jubley.
    1. mooritexxx's Avatar
      mooritexxx -
      Quote Originally Posted by purpl3_bug View Post
      What if we r talking to someone on the phone and the front facing camera turns on by itself...will they see the inside of our ears? =p
      keep a Q-tip handy at all times. or maybe apple should include one in their new iphone boxes.
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Quote Originally Posted by pauldanielash View Post


      There are other mobile devices that have front-facing phones, and they're used for video calls (where the network supports that feature) and self-portraits...
      What are these new fangled devices with front facing phones?
    1. ipodboy61's Avatar
      ipodboy61 -
      I just hope we won't be limited to mobile to mobile video conferencing
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      @southfrisco, there not new, i've had my lg shine with a front facing camera for almost 3 years now
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      If that happens, I can see Skype and Plus taking advantage of that feature.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by ipodboy61 View Post
      I just hope we won't be limited to mobile to mobile video conferencing
      I doubt we would be... for very long anyway. I am sure skype and various other such services would integrate the use of a front facing camera.

      Quote Originally Posted by wilsongeorge View Post
      @southfrisco, there not new, i've had my lg shine with a front facing camera for almost 3 years now
      Re-read his post and what he was responding to.
    1. DarkOmen53's Avatar
      DarkOmen53 -
      This seems pretty cool but how can we play a game and look at the person playing a game at the same time... wouldn't that make our game screen a lot smaller and ruin our gaming experience... Apple should at least make a typing pad for extra room =]
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Glad these features are coming
    1. cypherpunk's Avatar
      cypherpunk -
      "Video-enabled social network"? Already exists, it's called Youtube.
    1. jordbrett's Avatar
      jordbrett -
      @ipodboy at first look I'd say no way can they do that. Then I'd realize it's apple and it's a def possibility. Or maybe just to osx/iPhone if they wanna be dicks!
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      Quote Originally Posted by southfrisco View Post
      What are these new fangled devices with front facing phones?
      Dang it. You beat me to it. I want a device with a front facing phone.
    1. deathbybunnies6's Avatar
      deathbybunnies6 -
      haha. don't they already have a youtube app?
    1. Bluprint's Avatar
      Bluprint -
      Add me to the list of people who think this will be awkward, inappropriate, and annoying. At anytime ur boss, mom, or girlfriend could call u with video chat.. That ex girlfriend might bait you to say or do something crazy and I rather not give them that option especially if that moment could lead to something embarrassing. Next thing you know it's all over YouTube too.
    1. PRKnight's Avatar
      PRKnight -
      This is one thing ive been waiting for for a while. I hope they do it right and dont make it real crappy and make the next one so much better (They probably will). Also AT&T better not be dicks and try to say were going to charge u for using the video or add another 10 bucks to our data plan which is already 30 bucks. Dont screw this up AT&T
    1. ipodboy61's Avatar
      ipodboy61 -
      @jordbrett probably be all ichat oriented (good thing for future jailbreaks lol). Now that i think about it, this should be reallly impressive considering apple usually hold off on features because they don't stand to their "high quality standers"