Isn't it time for Apple to jump on the VOIP bandwagon?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
It seems to me that VOIP is destined to be the next big thing (and indeed already is in many places). The amount of companies springing up with VOIP products/services just recently is proof that something big is going on - Skype, BT/Yahoo, Wanadoo (in the UK they are launching an IP handset as an add on to their consumer broadband offering), and a number of other lesser known companies.



The one drawback of most of these companies (except Skype - I think, although I have yet to use it) is the clunky software that mainly exists on the Windows platform.



Enter Apple - the fabled iPhone. How about a handset with WiFi built in so that it could be used around the house (much in the same way as your regular digital cordless phone), or even in WiFi hotspots (I hear a number of cities have or will soon have blanket WiFi coverage). It would have the trademark apple software design so that it could integrate seamlessly with your mac (and maybe even windows aswell). Perhaps they could even aggressively go after the corporate market.



Is this a market Apple needs to get into..?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
  • Reply 2 of 22
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,830member
    What exactly do they mean by "Apple's distributing it..."?





  • Reply 3 of 22
    The best VOIP solutions don't involve software or tie to the computer itself in any way.



    Vonage requires a small box that you connect to your router. Connect a regular phone to that box, and you're all set.



    They've even recently demo'ed a voip phone the size of a cell phone that doesn't require a box. The phone itself connects wirelessly to the router. Very cool device.



    Not much point in Apple joining the fray, since the phones will commoditize very quickly, and the subscription service is already very competitively priced. This wouldn't be much of a revenue driving force.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    ipodandimacipodandimac Posts: 3,273member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Nine-Seventy

    Is this a market Apple needs to get into..?



    perhaps you've heard of iChatAV? If not, it's only the easiest way in the world to do audio and video chats over the internet.
  • Reply 5 of 22
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ipodandimac

    perhaps you've heard of iChatAV? If not, it's only the easiest way in the world to do audio and video chats over the internet.





    ...only if you own a Mac. And that's not a lot of people. You need to reach 'the other side' as well when dealing with these things, not just the limited amount of users that can take advantage of iChatAV.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ipodandimac

    perhaps you've heard of iChatAV? If not, it's only the easiest way in the world to do audio and video chats over the internet.



    It is certainly not the easiest.



    Mac to PC chatting is not reliable. Possibly down to limitations in the AOL client end.



    The network requirements are difficult too. It requires incoming ports to be opened on corporate firewalls. In other words - it won't ever be allowed in the typical office environment.



    iChat currently sits on AOLs instant message framework. AOL have recently suggested that all conversations belong to them. Not good.



    Skype on the other hand just works. Calls are encrypted and allow computer to phone (and soon phone to computer) calling. Skype have promised video calling soon.



    Apple should buy Skype now.



    Carni
  • Reply 7 of 22
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by nowayout11

    The best VOIP solutions don't involve software or tie to the computer itself in any way.



    Note that Asterisk isn't just VOIP. It can do VOIP, but what it is is a software router for phone service.



    Small businesses will love this.



    Apple is "distributing" it because it's an open source package. They've ported it, packaged it and shipped it.



    Quote:

    Not much point in Apple joining the fray, since the phones will commoditize very quickly, and the subscription service is already very competitively priced. This wouldn't be much of a revenue driving force.



    Note that Apple has joined the fray, but only indirectly, by offering free software bundled with their OS that handles VOIP as part of a larger telephony package. I wouldn't call it a solution in and of itself, but its inclusion is certainly interesting.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    sport73sport73 Posts: 438member
    I think VOIP could've been the LAST big thing (the technology is old enough) but suffers from a few key problems:



    1. Cost. While cheaper than traditional phone services, Vonage and the rest charge a lot of money for what is essentially available for free via iChat and almost any other chat software. The only addition is the 'bridge' between analog phone calls and the internet, and even $25/mo. is too much for something so simple. Eventually, this opportunity lies in the hands of your high-speed provider, who will add $5 per month to your fee to offer the 'bridge' to analog phones. Until then, adoption wil be slow.



    2. Reliability. My broadband connection is less stable than my phone line. Most people are hesitant about ditching their analog line because they know the IP connection drops often. Cell phones help to overcome this concern, but it's certainly an issue.



    3. Short-term solution. As discussed, iChat offers video/audio/text and more via a FREE service to those with a Mac (or Windows PC and AOL). It certainly needs to become more relaible etc.; But, whether it's Apple or someone else; someone is likely to come along with a platform independent application coupled with $200 hardware for the phone and FREE calling anywhere in the world. The higher the adoption rate of computers, the more they transcend other parts of our lives (living room/PDA etc.) the more we are likely to see iChat follow us everyone and replace traditional phone services.
  • Reply 9 of 22
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sport73



    2. Reliability. My broadband connection is less stable than my phone line. Most people are hesitant about ditching their analog line because they know the IP connection drops often. Cell phones help to overcome this concern, but it's certainly an issue.




    Cell phones have not helped to overcome this concern in my instance.



    But your larger point is well taken. There's a lot to be said for the reliability of POTS. It even works with the power down, which is not an academic concern for me. Storms knock out power at least once a year here.



    Quote:

    3. Short-term solution. As discussed, iChat offers video/audio/text and more via a FREE service to those with a Mac (or Windows PC and AOL). It certainly needs to become more relaible etc.; But, whether it's Apple or someone else; someone is likely to come along with a platform independent application coupled with $200 hardware for the phone and FREE calling anywhere in the world.



    Actually, Apple has a free VOIP server, and a $149 piece of hardware (iSight), and of course iChat. Since they're using standard formats and protocols, they don't really need cross-platform apps, although it might come to that.



    Quote:

    The higher the adoption rate of computers, the more they transcend other parts of our lives (living room/PDA etc.) the more we are likely to see iChat follow us everyone and replace traditional phone services.



    And those of us who prefer DSL are going to be in a real bind.
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Carniphage

    It is certainly not the easiest.



    Mac to PC chatting is not reliable. Possibly down to limitations in the AOL client end.



    The network requirements are difficult too. It requires incoming ports to be opened on corporate firewalls. In other words - it won't ever be allowed in the typical office environment.



    iChat currently sits on AOLs instant message framework. AOL have recently suggested that all conversations belong to them. Not good.



    Skype on the other hand just works. Calls are encrypted and allow computer to phone (and soon phone to computer) calling. Skype have promised video calling soon.



    Apple should buy Skype now.



    Carni




    We have within the last month started to use Skype at our office and it is amazing. Amazingly easy to use, install, and as you said it just works (although I think thats their catch phrase). Seriously, I have a hard time understanding how this isnt already built into every computer out there. Skype is by far one of the most quickly addopted applications for daily use I have ever seen in our office. I have a hard time beleaving that it's free and cant help to wonder what the phone companies are going to do about this.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    cubistcubist Posts: 954member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sport73

    ... 1. Cost. While cheaper than traditional phone services, Vonage and the rest charge a lot of money for what is essentially available for free via iChat and almost any other chat software. ...



    The box is called a Sipura 2000, you can get it from anybody and get service from Broadvoice.com (BYOD = Bring Your Own Device) for $5.95 a month. No software is needed.



    I think VOIP integration with the computer could add significant power, but POTS is what most people want.



    Cringely argues that the heyday of VOIP is already past, and the RBOCs are already systematically crushing the innovators. There's a lot of evidence showing this to be true.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Nine-Seventy

    It seems to me that VOIP is destined to be the next big thing (and indeed already is in many places). The amount of companies springing up with VOIP products/services just recently is proof that something big is going on - Skype, BT/Yahoo, Wanadoo (in the UK they are launching an IP handset as an add on to their consumer broadband offering), and a number of other lesser known companies..





    Skype is brilliant. Great interface, better sound. Once you've used it, iChat's seriously lacking. It feels like a toy.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    webmailwebmail Posts: 639member
    The best "Voip" are all backend powered somewhere down the line by a server. I've been playing around with asterisk (voip server) on Mac OS X. Impressed so far.





    Quote:

    Originally posted by nowayout11

    The best VOIP solutions don't involve software or tie to the computer itself in any way.



    Vonage requires a small box that you connect to your router. Connect a regular phone to that box, and you're all set.



    They've even recently demo'ed a voip phone the size of a cell phone that doesn't require a box. The phone itself connects wirelessly to the router. Very cool device.



    Not much point in Apple joining the fray, since the phones will commoditize very quickly, and the subscription service is already very competitively priced. This wouldn't be much of a revenue driving force.




  • Reply 14 of 22
    iChat voice may be a little rougher right now, but it will leapfrog Skype with Tiger in a few weeks. With new codecs, the sound quality will improve, hopefully reliability with PC side will improve, and then theres the 10-way.



    I will be able to talk to my entire family located on both coasts of the US at the same time for free. And I'm in korea.





    Hopefully address book will incorporate VoIP, using iChatAV as the caller application; that would be really sweet. Or at least improve Skype so it ties into the Address book database.



    and .mac accounts would include VoIP minutes, which you could easily buy more of at a very cheap rate (99cents an hour) Incoming calls are free.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    chagichagi Posts: 284member
    The problem with Apple hopping into the VOIP arena is the competition - namely Cisco and Nortel.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ipodandimac

    perhaps you've heard of iChatAV? If not, it's only the easiest way in the world to do audio and video chats over the internet.



  • Reply 17 of 22
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Imergingenious

    iChat voice may be a little rougher right now, but it will leapfrog Skype with Tiger in a few weeks.







    Dream On.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    slugheadslughead Posts: 1,169member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Nine-Seventy

    Isn't it time for Apple to jump on the VOIP bandwagon?



    Ahhh GOD it's serious now.



    "Can't Apple make a new type of corn flakes cereal that you don't have to add milk?"



    "Shouldn't Apple make edible tablet PCs?"



    Why can't we just have G5 powebooks? Why does Apple have to get into every emerging market everywhere?
  • Reply 19 of 22
    sure ichat is great; but its not much good for people like my grandparents who simply don't have a computer.



    i'd love to be able to setup some kind of wireless network at home that is capable of voip and then purchase a cell phone that i can then register with my wireless network at home [so my neighbours, for example, can't listen in on my calls or use my line. encryption i guess.] so anyway register it with my wireless network at home, so when my cell comes into range with the network at home it utilises that for calls and txting. [i'm in australia and the largest telephone network provider has just announced txting through landline capabilities, so the technology is already waiting] when i leave home, the cell phone will utilise my cell network provider.



    this would be fantastic. all of my contacts, txt messages and maybe sync my voice mail when i arrive home - so its' all in the one place, all the time.



    call me stupid, but i'd like to simplifiy what is now duplicating contact lists from my home phone to my cell phone, bills arriving in the mail for the cell phone and then another for my landline and unncessacary work etc etc

  • Reply 20 of 22
    mmmpiemmmpie Posts: 628member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by brentonbrenton

    i'd love to be able to setup some kind of wireless network at home that is capable of voip and then purchase a cell phone that i can then register with my wireless network at home



    http://www.ivtcorporation.com/products/ctp/index.php



    Uses bluetooth to hit an access point with your cell phone and then place the call through a landline.

    There is nothing stopping a PC with BT being the access point and placing the call with VOIP.

    Both the cell phone and the access point need the CTP profile, which is something that we should be seeing soon ( just read today the siemens are working on it for their phones ).
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