Anyone want to speculate on VoIP on the iPhone?

robhon

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#1
Not that anyone has any hard data but it's fun to talk about. :)

I would be totally jazzed if I could use my iPhone as a VoIP phone as well as a normal cell phone. Cell service is sketchy at my house. I'd love to just be using my wireless connection at home for all those calls.

The one tiny bit of data I go on that makes me think this (in a perfect world) could happen is the secret agreement between Cisco and Apple over the iPhone name. At first Apple was claiming that the Cisco iPhone and the Apple iPhone were different animals. One was VoIP, the other a cell phone. But somewhere in the resulting agreement no one had to agrue that idea. I'm hoping it's because Apple eventually wants to add VoIP functionality to the iPhone.

I'm not a tech guy so I don't honestly know the feasibility of this.
 

wot_fan

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#2
I think it is very unlikely that any sort of VoIP service will be available for the iPhone. I would bet that Cingular/AT&T made it a part of their deal with Apple. As they see it, VoIP would take too much money out of their pockets. If you don't use their service for calls, they don't make any money. It is as simple as that.
 

robhon

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#3
But, if there's the potential for adding VoIP to the iPhone, why would Apple agree to remove what could be a potentially strong feature of the iPhone? Seems to be not like Apple to ever contract themselves out of something, anything.

And besides, the iPhone is going to have wifi access to the internet. If you're connecting to the web via wifi you certainly aren't using their service either.
 

wot_fan

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#4
And besides, the iPhone is going to have wifi access to the internet. If you're connecting to the web via wifi you certainly aren't using their service either.
That is true but I think the iPhone will only be sold with an unlimited data plan. Many cell providers like Verizon disable wifi on phones they sell to force the use of their data network. I think the reason that AT&T didn't take issue with the iPhone having wifi is because of the mandatory unlimited plan. If I am right, AT&T is going to want you to use wifi as much as possible since it will reduce the traffic on their network and they won't make any more money if you use EDGE anyway.

The same is not true for voice though. No matter what voice plan you end up with, you will have a finite amount of minutes. If they allow VoIP, the chances of you exceeding your minute allotment are reduced dramatically.

This is of course just my opinion. I could be wrong. In fact, it has been happening a lot lately ;).
 

robhon

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#5
You could be right. It just seems uncharacteristic of Apple to give anything away for the sake of a businesss relationship. (I think that's where the "doesn't play well with others" thing comes from.)

I'm guessing that they all know the potential conflict and just decided to turn a blind eye until they can prove that the iPhone is going to be big.

But, you know, maybe the conflict isn't that great if ATT has their own Hotspots. And if you're at home, it's more likely that you're going to use a land line of some sort anyway.

Again, it's all just fun and games to speculate.
 

robhon

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#7
I don't think that they will have voip. Well atleast not on the first release.
I'm assuming they won't have it initially. The question is, will they eventually add this functionality?

First release I'm sure we are getting exactly what Steve showed us. Not a lot more. But you have to know things are brewing in the background for all the functionality that will be added during the months following the release.
 

rtaylor07

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#8
I'm sure 3rd party software could be an immediate answer to this issue. The iPhone has wifi. So it shouldn't be hard to make a software available for the iPhone that would allow a service such as skype.
 

wot_fan

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#9
I'm sure 3rd party software could be an immediate answer to this issue. The iPhone has wifi. So it shouldn't be hard to make a software available for the iPhone that would allow a service such as skype.
It is not a matter of whether or not it is possible. It is matter of whether or not Apple & Cingular will allow VOIP apps on the iPhone. If you read the earlier posts in this thread, you will find reasons why Apple/Cingular may not allow VOIP.
 
May 17, 2007
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#10
I just signed up for skype and want a voip phone.

I had already put a iPhone on auto order with cingular. I am a 1984 mac addict. I have multiple home and work macs and own stock. I am an obvious iPhone owner and this voip solutions are great. Opinions are what can I expect from the foundation of my computer experience.
 

joe

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#11
All the pieces are there for VOIP so it's definitely doable. I am guessing VOIP will either be there in June or at least within the year. I'm hoping right away.

As far as ATT is concerned, the customer is already signing up for the plan so it makes more sense to also let them use VOIP, still paying but not using their network.
 

wot_fan

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#12
As I said in my earlier post, it is not in AT&T's best interest to allow VOIP. There primary revenue stream is from the sale of "talk" minutes. If VOIP was available, many users would buy plans with less minutes or even pay as you go minutes. AT&T would not like that ;).

If Apple decides to allow 3rd party apps, maybe AT&T won't have a say. We will just have to wait and see on this one.
 

joe

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#13
As I said in my earlier post, it is not in AT&T's best interest to allow VOIP. There primary revenue stream is from the sale of "talk" minutes. If VOIP was available, many users would buy plans with less minutes or even pay as you go minutes. AT&T would not like that ;).
Yeah, but what if it's a flat rate plan?
 

joe

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#15
I am not sure I understand what you mean. I can't see an unlimited voice plan being offered. Anything short of that and AT&T is losing money when you use a VOIP service to talk to your buds instead of their cell service.
Yeah, I guess they don't offer much of flat rate plans. I'm not up on the different plans, and I'm used to the land-line flat rate plans and free in-network calling. I'm probably getting off topic now. Maybe they'll offer a flat monthly fee that covers all data and 90% of calls, and then Apple completes the package with VOIP. After all, it is supposed to be a revolutionary product and the phone of the future. The phone of the future has to have VOIP. :)
 
Jun 13, 2007
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#16
iPhone VoIP

I think as time passes, Apple may team up up with someone to do VoIP. Though there might be a simple solution to that. I've always thought it cool to have Skype running on my windows mobile device and carrying it around the house to chat on over WIFI. The dream situation: Apple teams with Skype to develop Skype for iPhone, so AT&T customers are free to save their minutes when they are in non-WIFI areas.