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7% of Americans have made video phone calls post-iPhone 4

updated 03:30 pm EDT, Wed October 13, 2010

Pew says phone video calling at 7pc but growing

About seven percent of the US has made a video call on a cellphone, Pew Research found in a study posted today. Although still relatively new in the country, mobile video chat is now large enough to compare to the 23 percent of total Internet users that have used video. The demographics were more likely to include wealthier users making over $75,000 per year but also relatively younger audiences, below 50.

The study occurred between mid-August and mid-September and is likely to have been influenced by the iPhone 4. Apple has made FaceTime a core selling point of the smartphone, including most of its TV ads, and has stressed that it doesn't even require a dedicated app to work. Sprint has been the only other major contributor to mobile video chat in the modern era and supports it only on its WiMAX phones, the HTC Evo 4G and Samsung Epic 4G.

Video calling has existed outside the US almost since the debut of 3G, but it failed to catch on in significant fashion due to the devices and connection quality. Most calling had been limited to devices with very low-resolution (often 352x288) cameras and at poor frame rates. The rapid rise of Wi-Fi on phones, as well as the advent of faster 3G and 4G, has given devices enough bandwidth for desktop-level video calls.

The share of video chat may go up with the appearance of the new iPod touch and possible camera-equipped iPads from Apple. Android is getting its own lift as the new T-Mobile myTouch will have its own support for video conversations.

by MacNN Staff



  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    a little high

    now I have nothing to base this off of, other then anecdotal evidence, but 7% of the US population (documented) is 21.5 million people. At sales of about 3 million last I checked, the iPhone could only count for 1/7th of that total number, leading me to wonder, how are all these people video-chatting and with what devices?

    of course, looking into their research, this is based off of a sample of 3,000 people - which I could see 200 of those having used the technology, but to say your small sample reflects the whole is a large leap of faith.

    Example, I have not made a video chat on a mobile device - although my demographic make up says I should have. I probably would have except I haven't upgraded to an iPhone 4 because I want to wait and see what carrier options open up plus money is a bit tight now. In the neighboring office, my coworker has an iPhone4 and has used FaceTime My decisions are different from my co-worker (who has the same demographic background and preferences) due to my own circumstantial differences. Statistically we should be the same, but real world variances occur.

    In other words, there sample is not representative of the whole, does not take any real world phone data into account and in other ways, is just complete c***

    but it makes for a good headline

  1. Fast iBook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A few times a week....

    I use it a few times a week to talk with my girlfriend, it's the primary reason we got the iPhone 4.

    - A

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