We don't need a new app so kids can do video chat, there's Skype and others for that. They like the ease if use. The problem is to tack in another data plan restriction removal to open FaceTime with AT&T and possibly others is the barrier.
I have a 4gs and can't use FaceTime over the cellular network without paying AT&T more money or losing my unlimited plan. So I don't use it.
All this comes down to the same conclusion the author had. There's a huge market in the term category. They have deep pockets by proxy of their patents. But parents won't drop that much more for FaceTime. Want to tap that market AT&T, Verizon, etc? Allows FaceTime on your network.
And Apple, open iMessage and FaceTime so that it can be coded on Sndroid and everything else. Apple gets brand recognition ala "FireWire" and we get a service we want that there no reason to pay more for.
29.00 a month for unlimited texts. Insane. 90% of my friends have iPhones. But messages from my bank, pharmacy,etc go through a non iMessage service. Apple needs to open up the protocol and allow an API gateway so regular SMS messages can get through. Then we can all dump the unlimited text plans or the 30 cents ala carte text plans.
And this is not some high-end private school -- it's a Texas public school with low- to middle-class kids.
My daughter tells me the trends in this blog post are right on, except the driving force for SnapChat seems to be porn.
Apple creating an API wouldn't accomplish much, since Apple still wouldn't have access to the SMS message streams. The mobile carriers would have to route SMS traffic to Apple's gateway, and they're not likely to agree to that, since SMS is a huge cash cow for them.
One possibility would be to cut SMS out entirely, by convincing the senders of these messages (banks, etc.) to connect directly to Apple's API instead of sending SMS. But the problem is that Apple's service is proprietary, and all the people on Android phones will be on competing services with different APIs. So banks would have to figure out how to talk to all these different APIs. This isn't a compelling issue for banks to be spending their efforts on, since any customer who wants to receive their banking alerts without using SMS already can: these alerts are also available via e-mail, which is an open, universal and standardized protocol.
An alternate approach would be for Apple to create an e-mail to iMessage gateway that would give each user a dedicated e-mail address that would forward to their iMessage stream (similar to the many e-mail to SMS gateways that currently exist). Users could then subscribe that e-mail address to their banking alerts. Another advantage of avoiding SMS entirely is that it's an unreliable protocol, in which 1-5% of messages are lost. So if your alert is actually important, you may not want to entrust it to SMS in the first place.
I have a 6 and 8 yr old and both received iPad minis for Christmas and they have already FaceTimed with their friends and cousins via their new devices.
And we are now spending a lot of time educating our children how to properly utilize technology to communicate with their friends. That includes a number of very firm rules and regulations.