Less than 48 hours ago Apple unveiled iOS 6 to the world, and while it wasn’t exactly mind blowing, it did add enough features to the platform to ensure that it remains competitive when compared to the likes of Android and Windows Phone. Now one of those features isn’t exactly a feature, it’s more of a removal of a restriction. Whereas before you needed to be connected to a WiFi network to have a video call, something Apple calls “FaceTime”, with iOS 6 you can now have said conversation over a cellular network. You’d think that since FaceTime works on both the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, once you upgrade those device to iOS 6 you’ll be able to take advantage of the new FaceTime cellular capabilities. According to Apple’s website, that sadly isn’t the case.
“FaceTime over a cellular network requires iPhone 4S or iPad (3rd generation) with cellular data capability.”
Can anyone give us a good reason as to why Apple can’t make this happen for iPhone 4 users? Nokia has been putting front facing cameras on their mobile phones since before the first iPhone came out. Granted, video calling wasn’t exactly crystal clear on those devices, but still, it worked. While we haven’t tried FaceTime over cellular, we predict Apple will crank up the compression settings to limit data traffic.
The bigger question is of course how are operators going to feel about their customers not using their voice minutes, instead opting to use their data plan, to make calls? Video calls may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if they’re cheaper to make than voice calls then we can see them becoming more popular. If that does happen, Apple will have not only managed to steal SMS revenues with iMessage, but also the cash cow known as voice minutes.