Mobile video calling to hit 29 million users by 2015

Placing video calls with smartphones won't take off for years, a new study from Juniper Research finds. Consider, for instance, the restrictions on Apple's FaceTime.


Video calling is expected to be used by 29 million people around the globe by 2015, Juniper Research announced in a new study released today.

According to the market research firm, Apple's FaceTime video-calling feature will help jump-start the mobile videoconferencing business, but it likely won't spur a full "mass market" adoption within the next five years.

"We forecast there will be 29 million smartphone video users in 2015, but the market may be held back by a lack of interoperability between different devices," Juniper senior analyst Anthony Cox said in a statement.

It's a point well taken. When Apple first announced the iPhone 4's FaceTime feature, the company said it was only available over Wi-Fi with other iPhone 4 devices. The functionality is now also available on the latest iPod Touch. Outside of that, folks hoping to place video calls over 3G or to other products will find their options limited at best. Woe be to the market if other video-calling providers follow that lead.

Aside from video calling, Juniper said that it expects 84 percent of mobile phones shipped to the United States in 2015 to feature "app store connectivity and touch screens." It also expects 3D functionality and dual-core processors to play a bigger role in mobile devices over the coming years.

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