Wednesday, July 11, 2007

iPhone's Killer App

The Apple iPhone has a killer app out there and it might not be Apple's. If you know anything about the Telecom industry then you know the big hype is VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Basically what this means for end users is that one can make a call over the internet for free or for extremely low prices. A good example of this is Vonage, a better example is Skype, which created a web application called a softphone. I believe a skype to skype call is free and a skype to an actual phone is only $30 for a full year (an international call is 2.5cents/minute)! AT&T is more than $120/year. Think if you could have a service like this on your cell phone.

Apple's iPhone is letting developers create web applications for its MAC OSx operating system. this article explains it further:

Potentially, a developer could make a softphone, put it on an iPhone and make VoIP calls at a drastically cheaper rate than what Cingular offers. From what I have seen fiddling with the iPhone the internet is pretty fast on it.

One of the drawbacks, however, is you would definately need internet connectivity, but that is obviously becoming less and less of a problem. Another, might be the pull back from Apple for an app like this, but knowing what they did to the record industry they might not have a problem with it.

Bar Phone Booths?

How many times have you been at bar or club and recieved an important call, but couldn't hear the other person or they couldn't hear you because of the noise? Your friend may be trying to get directions to your location or telling you where they are or even trying to find you in the same place. This will be especially frustrating for longer conversations or those who feel rushed to finish a conversation.

Having a phone "booth" where distracting outside noise is muffled and a phone call can be heard clearly would be easy to implement and have great admission. These "booths" could potentially have the ability to increase the sound heard over the phone by speaker boosters or headphones.

This service could be free, but there could be some ways to create revenue. One could charge per seat, charge per phone call or charge per minute of use. Obvisouly this would be extremely low margins, but would be made up by frequent use. Who knows, maybe Cingular or Verizon could run a pilot that works for only their subscribers.