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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. jaylen555's Avatar
      jaylen555 -
      wth the volume is on the other side :S
    1. Evilsaint's Avatar
      Evilsaint -
      awesome but i hope the camera has a light when its active that way i know if any one ^gains acess to my iphone ^ to watch me
    1. wwefan54's Avatar
      wwefan54 -
      thats a pic from ooVoo
    1. yahoowizard's Avatar
      yahoowizard -
      Yeah, it be interesting to see whether these cameras get hacked/people get spied on from the other side of the world by some old guy....I see a huge lawsuit coming up there.
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      maybe chatroulette for the iPhone?? who knows
    1. Snootch's Avatar
      Snootch -
      Quote Originally Posted by yahoowizard View Post
      Yeah, it be interesting to see whether these cameras get hacked/people get spied on from the other side of the world by some old guy....I see a huge lawsuit coming up there.
      Of course, because that happens all the time with desktops & laptops w/ webcams, not to mention all the other phones w/ cameras.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I first got a phone capable of video calls 7 years ago - I think I've tried it twice.

      So Apple are building a massive data centre to cope with all that data? Are they also building the 3G infrastructure (which people seem to claim is not keeping up with current demands) to cope with this? Or will it be WiFi only?

      Quote Originally Posted by MetallicaFan1991 View Post

      ^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.
      The exploit for 4.0 is the same one available for 3.13 and is available on the 3G only.

      Luckily, I can see from your device/FW that you heeded all the advice and were not silly enough to upgrade to 3.13 so everything is fine