No one said that Facetime wasn't well done. In fact, for mobile video chat, it's my favorite. (As more in my widely flung family get LTE, that might change.)
It's just incompatible with any other brand device, which makes it useless for those of us with families and friends using all types of devices, whenever both parties don't have an Apple device handy.
I think Apple was the first to integrate video cameras into their products and include the software as part of the base installation.
Video calling was a feature that was included around 2003, in areas that had 3G. For example:
"The big draw for Three's 3G service in Hong Kong is video calling, and it really works. It's sometimes blocky and compressed, but pretty smooth.
Three told me that work-obsessed Hong Kong bankers like to use video calls to tuck their kids in at night."
- PC Mag 2004
Does that last sentence sound familiar? And that was six years before Facetime.
Even Cingular had a video phone in 2005 on its fledgling 3G network.
Skype is also "based" on Open Standards. But, as with Facetime, proprietary pieces block everyone else.