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June 08, 2010

Video Chat Might be the Most Exciting Smartphone Development

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor

We could hardly contain our excitement when we got word in our inboxes that the Apple (News - Alert) 4G iPhone had arrived. More on that in a minute.

What's exciting today is a report that the next "key battleground" in the smartphone wars has emerged and it is video chat on cell phones.
CNBC's Dennis Kneale noted earlier that this battle "will pit Apple against Google, it will set AT&T against Verizon. They already are joined by Sprint-Nextel and Taiwan's HTC. And Nokia (News - Alert)."
By 2010, video chat is expected to be a daily thing for smartphone users - the kind who want to check in on their teens at home or send a personal message.
Until now, the iPhone (News - Alert) had only a backside phone facing out on the world, but for video chat you need a front-facer: a Me-cam.
One application developer on the cutting edge is Fring, which in December posted what it called the world's first video-chat app for the iPhone, Kneale noted. Fring followed up 11 days ago with an app for the Google Android (News - Alert) design. Already more than 50 different Android handsets can run Fring. Only one Apple handset can.
Speaking of Apple, on Monday -- a good half hour into a keynote at the Apple Developers Conference in San Francisco -- Steve Jobs unveiled the new iPhone.
Equipped with a slightly larger battery, the new handset comes with seven hours of 3G talk, six hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of 802.11n WiFi (News - Alert) browsing, 10 hours of video, and 40 hours of music. The camera has been bumped to 5 megapixels, with 5X digital zoom. Plus, it can record HD video at 720p / 30fps.
The best part? Apple's newest is skinny for summertime -- about 24 percent thinner than the 3GS.

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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