updated 11:10 am EDT, Fri July 29, 2011
No ratifications in progress
Despite promises by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, FaceTime has yet to become an open standard, observers note. During Jobs' 2010 WWDC keynote, the executive said Apple would be "going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow," with the explicit intent of making FaceTime an "open industry standard." No third-party hardware or software with the feature has yet been announced, and even now no organizations are known to be ratifying the platform.
Early on there was some mild interest in adopting FaceTime by companies like Skype. If Apple were to make FaceTime an open standard it might therefore stand a chance of being widely supported, increasing the appeal of Apple devices, which include FaceTime as a dialing option. Presently FaceTime is only supported on Macs and iOS handhelds.
Why Apple would hold off on opening FaceTime is unknown. A simple explanation may be that the company has lost interest, or otherwise considers it a low priority. Alternately it may feel that the technology is a competitive edge, even though options like Skype enjoy greater popularity. One rumor suggests that Jobs' WWDC announcement came as a surprise to the FaceTime team; if so, the group might not have been prepared to follow through, at least on a quick timetable.