Next Gen iPhone Alert! We Have Front Facing Camera Video iChat Rumor!

This is not a drill! We finally have someone, likely with no actual knowledge of the engineering or design of the next gen iPhone, going on record as saying:

his sources indicate Apple is readying a new iPhone that will ship in June with an upgraded camera that could deliver big improvements to the iPhone experiences, including both still and video capabilities "with possibly another camera on the front for video chat."

iChat on the iPhone has been a perennial favorite among rumormeisters before every new launch, real and imagined, just like iPhone nano speculation. Speaking of which...

Apple Insider's coverage of Barclay's Capital analyst Ben Reitzes' predictions doesn't stop there, of course, as we also get the prerequisite low end iPhone nano-ized rumors, the high end video iPhone Pro rumors.

Some of these are logical inferences, some are wishful thinking. We're thinking -- why let analysts have all the fun? What are you wishing for? Do we want Mobile iChat video? Could AT&T even support it in iPhone numbers? And if Apple isn't going to fracture the platform with different screen sizes, are features a realistic way to differentiate their offerings?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Next Gen iPhone Alert! We Have Front Facing Camera Video iChat Rumor!


Wow. Interesting. If they put it on , you'd probably only be able to do it on 3G. However , i've been having a lot of 3G slow down recently in new York city and Ive been on edge , which quite frankly is a much better experience right now.
I think they should wait until at&t make further improvements to their network 3G network.

I totally agree with OmariJames. I live in Indiana and our existing 3G network is spotty at best. I drove to Chicago the other day and had the worst reception possible in the city on 3G. It kept bumping in and out of EDGE.
I think many more improvements are needed at the infrastructure level to allow for Mobile iChat, but I definitely think it would be a great addition. Especially for mobile conferencers like myself.

I don's think this will ever happen. It seems like a lot of time and money for a feture that only a handful of people will use more than once.
Re: Photo - If you were on a video chat, why would you be typing?
I do think we will see some video recording features soon hopefully with some good editing capabilities.

Awesome. They need to fix my billing issues while they're at it. 2 months of promised resolution because they posted my payment to someone else's account. Yay! Never pay over the phone with a rep. Stick with automation.

you guys keep complaining that occasionally you don't get 3G and have to rely on Edge! hahaha, in the UK I've barely ever got 3G even in London and tbh it's the same with Edge - if I get Edge I jump for joy!
iChat would be pointless as no-one in rhe UK has AIM - they have MSN...

I'm not shocked. I saw a demo of a handset by one of the Koren makers that had a front facing camera. They used it for video and pix.
With the news of a turbocharged AT&T network to go into effect in the Summer, the 3.0 release and 1000 new API's is pretty string supporting evidence that the front facing camera is for video and iChat.

Forget iChat, I'll take Skype video calls even if they're only over WiFi. That way I'm not tied to my laptop and a webcam to make video calls back home to my family when I'm on the road.

If they do it they have to put msn compatibility (which i doubt) , cause "no one" in eurpe uses aim.

Yea i live in iowa and there is zero 3G at all. The only thing i have ever experienced is edge but im not really complaining about it because it is plenty fast for me. I do want a front facing camera though. That would be pretty cool. I think they should have a switch on the right side of the phone like the silent/ring switch that can toggle between the front and back camera.

@iPhone 3G, i'm in london and i always get 3G signal only time i loose it is when i am in a building and even in subbasment of a tower block in Canary Wharf i get full EDGE signal. i measured the speed and on average in london i get 1MB down speeds. There must be something wrong with your phone.

If we get video chat it will surely be for that lovely new 802.11n chip. Cellular networks wouldn't be able to take the strain of millions of iphone users video calling each other.
Just my thoughts - I could be wrong.

I have iChat on two MacBooks and an iMac, and still don't know anyone else who has video chat.
It's like if I lived alone with three teeter-todders in my backyard.

Big whoop. The "new" Moto Razr V9 has usual, coming to the party late. And, I agree. If you have this, why is the guy typing?? This would be a VERY limited thing. Unless everyone you know has an iPhone. Or a web cam, if it works that way. Still, a TXT or email will still be king. A nice selling gimmick tho.....

I think this would be great. My whole family has an iphone and this would be a great way to be able to chat with them when I am not there. It would be nice if other apps could access it as well, like gchat so the people using that could have video chat capabilities as well :) I really hope this feature makes it in!

It would be interesting, but not a great feature. For the rest of the world (I'm in Australia) that's had 3G (and video calling) for quite a while longer than the US, it wouldn't pose any bandwidth problems. However, as a feature, video calling as a technology has been around since the 60's, but never taken off - and for good reason.
As a marketing device / novelty, it's great (the whole '3' telco network in Australia predicated their sales on the ability to video chat many years back), but people very quickly lose interest within the first few minutes (as it's socially uncomfortable for most) - and rarely ever try it again. There are, of course exceptions, such as people who are commuting regularly and have a child they want to wish goodnight. But the stats show that the majority of users just don't use this feature if its available.
Apple is generally good at avoiding useless features that clutter the interface and add unnecessary bulk to their devices. I hope they continue to do so.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, many phones outside the US (most in Australia, Asia and parts of Europe) have had video conferencing capability since back in 2003. In Japan, they've had video conferencing capabilities on mobile phones since on NTT Docomo since 2001!
Still - not really a feature anyone uses.

Great way to get more hits on your website. Some guy who doesn't actually know anything about the new iPhone design says there MAY be a front facing camera.
That guy could just as well have been me, and I can tell you now that the new iPhone MAY gave built-in airconditioning, window wipers, and satellite TV.

I heard rumor of a real querty keyboard but find it highly unlikely because Steve J is against them. However the current keyboard is annoying at best

Piggy backing a front facing camera to the rear facing camera and having a software switch could be done without adding bulk...everyday components get smaller and smaller. For the comments on AT&T not wanting to clog up the's very simple...make the video conferencing portion only WiFi supported until the network is beefed up to handle it...then a simple software update could be made later. For the comments on iChat being usless...I agree...nobody I know uses it or AIM...I have a mac and have never used it...but it would be simple enough for the Yahoo app or the beejive app to incorporate this function with an update. I don't understand why anyone would complain about adding a front facing would be nice to have...if you don't like it...don't buy it or just don't use it...problem solved.

Was wondering dose anyone know if there's a messenger for iPhone where u can chat while the other person will b on ur screen as vido chat
Wat I mean is the other person has webcam and iPhone will recive the video but will not send coz the cam ois one the wrong side so is there a messanger like that to use with iPhone

There are people that would use IChat...have you thought of deaf people that would put this ichat feature in a good use????