Peter Burrows from Businessweek says (via MR) that video on the iPhone 3 is going to do for video what the original iPod did for mp3s. We say he’s late to the party. We’re not talking April 7th late either (that is when screengrabs showing the video interface were published). We’re talking over a year late.
Cycorder and Qik have been on jailbroken iPhones for over a year and have offered up the video recording and broadcasting ability to the broad swath of iPhone users who’ve jaibroken their iPhones.. Even Ashton Kutcher has been taking videos on his iPhone.
Obviously, video recording will be much more popular on iPhone 3 because it is an Apple endorsed feature and it has been made "super easy". The numbers of people making and publishing videos will skyrocket and Apple will have "changed the world" again. But we can’t help but see the missed opportunity.
Apple has kept video apps off of the iPhone artificially. We’re not just talking about apps like Cycorder which record data to the iPhone’s Flash storage in MP4 form. Some have speculated that all of the video recording could cause data rewrite errors or drain the battery extraordinarily quickly. Elevation Partners’ sponsored application Qik has been trying to get into the App Store for over half a year. This application doesn’t write to the iPhone’s Flash storage, it publishes the video to the web. IT doesn’t use any more battery than watching a video in iTunes. Believe us, we have lots of experience.
One could ponder if the fact that Qik is being fueled by Apple arch enemy Elevation Partners has anything to do with its snubbing. Elevation partners is heavily invested in the Palm Pre as well as having two former Apple execs at the helm.
We tend to think that the snubbing is because Apple doesn’t want its glory stolen. It wants to usher in the "era of portable video recording and editing" for the masses. And it likely will.
But we can’t help but wonder how many special moments have been lost because of Apple’s decision to keep video off of the iPhone over the past year. How many baby’s births or first words weren’t recorded? How many police brutalities? How many planes landing in rivers? How many Star Wars Kids do we not know about?
It will be great when the masses can record video on the iPhone. It would have been greater if Apple had "allowed" us to do so long ago.
Oh, and I am speaking from experience here. When my son was born, we didn’t think we’d want to put it to video. However, seconds after he was born, I whipped out my iPhone with Qik and saved his first few breaths(sfw). I’ve watched that hundreds of times. I feel sad for those who didn’t get the chance to do the same.