Those of you complaining about the lack of front camera and videoconferencing in the new iPhone, stop saying words. This July 11 you will be able to buy the Apple Videoconferencing Kit for iPhone 3G at just $29. Press release and an exclusive leaked photo of the user manual—showing how it exactly works—right after the jump.
Apple introduces the iPhone 3G Videoconferencing Kit, ZOMG!
WWDC SAN FRANCISCO-June 11, 2008-Apple® today unveiled the Apple Videoconferencing Kit®, the world's first videoconference accessory for the world's best phone, the iPhone 3G. Using a unique silicon-based mirror material and natural bamboo wood for its handle and base, the Apple Videoconferencing Kit measures an unprecedented 0.5 inches at its thinnest point. Its low weight and unique shape—developed following strict Human Interface tests and anatomical studies—will allow the user to easily hold it in front of the iPhone 3G camera, allowing face-to-face video communication with users all around the world.
"We've built the world's best cellphone-again," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO and famed fried tofu fan. "But it didn't feel... complete. So I said to Phil, hey! Phil, yo! Where's the damn front camera? Can we do iChat AV with this shit? He said we couldn't, but then... then he pulled out his hand mirror and said: 'what about this?'"
Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing and Apple's Cool Guy at Large, explained how it all went after that: "Steve thought it was ok, but he didn't like the pink plastic and shiny beads, so we asked Jon to come up with an evolution of the design." The team lead by Jonathan Ive was left with the challenge of making the Apple Videoconferencing Kit a reality: "We wanted the design to feel complete, as a whole holistic experience for the user, something that would talk from the inside, and be pure function. It just feels that way now."
The Apple Videoconferencing Kit ultra-shiny surface allows for an extremely clear image, the best in its class, and can be easily customized using any kind of materials, from stickers to Crayola. It will be available in July 11 for $29.
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.
For those of you who don't get it, this is a criticism of the lack of front camera and video conferencing in the iPhone 3G. Looking at the new model, I think it is clear that Apple has decided to milk the current iPhone for another year instead of actually pushing the envelope big time. After all, why rush it when you are still entering the market and you can increase your margins?
While I'm sure that iChat AV-compatible videoconferencing will come to the iPhone, the fact is that Apple has decided we don't need it, expanding the lifetime of the previous generation by adding 3G and new software, in order to get more return out of their original investment. I can't blame them. And it even makes sense from a development point of view, making sure that every step works before taking another. However, as a consumer and gadget addict who wants it all, that doesn't make me happy.