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Summary:

With the introduction of microphone support and an external speaker, the gap between the iPhone and the iPod touch was becoming increasingly narrow. It was really only a matter of time before it happened, but one company, JAJAH is now claiming to have bridged the space […]

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With the introduction of microphone support and an external speaker, the gap between the iPhone and the iPod touch was becoming increasingly narrow. It was really only a matter of time before it happened, but one company, JAJAH is now claiming to have bridged the space between the two, and brought phone features to the iPod touch, going beyond what even existing VoIP apps have done in the past.

Specifically, JAJAH will allow you to not only make calls with your iPod touch, but also send and receive text messages. Of course, since the device lacks any kind of cellular antenna, you’ll have to be in a Wi-Fi hotspot in order to use JAJAH’s phone features. You’ll also have to have an iPod headset with Mic, and you aren’t actually able to do any of this yet, because JAJAH is not currently available in the App Store. Just like the MMS solution we covered before, JAJAH is a white label service that will be offered for sale to other companies.

Companies who do purchase JAJAH’s white-label goods will get everything, from a custom-branded app to payment infrastructure. The idea is that an interested company will take the product, turn around, and sell air time or service bundles to consumers. In their press release, JAJAH mentions students as a potentially lucrative target market, since they seem to always have Wi-Fi access and they have ample reason to use an affordable long distance solution.

I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but I’m not entirely sure this kind of thing will get App Store approval, although JAJAH seems pretty confident. They do suggest in their materials that carriers might want to offer this to extend their reach beyond iPhone owners, but I think they’ll be far more likely to pressure Apple into blocking the release of these kinds of apps where iPhones are sold.

On the other hand, it could be an opportunity to grab long distance customers from traditional, land-line based phone companies, since many now only have a home phone for those types of calls. If rates are good enough, people could end up buying iPod touch talk time instead of using long distance cards, which would appeal to students, businesspeople, and international travelers.

Apple could end up approving the apps because of the potential revenue they stand to gain from iPod touch purchases encouraged by the additional service, but it’ll depend on how much they think they stand to lose from cannibalized iPhone sales. Whatever happens, nice to know the ability is out there, just waiting for corporate buy-in.

  1. As I began reading the article, my first thought was the same: Apple will not allow this. Then I put myself to the test; would I buy an iPod touch for this? The answer is no. I’m a happy iPhone owner, and I need to have data/cellular connectivity wherever I go. Because the iPod touch cannot do this, I don’t see it appealing to people who use their iPhones the way I do, which is constantly and for a variety of purposes, many of those in the normal-cell-phone way. What I do think an option like this would offer is some bonus incentive to on-the-fence iPod touch shoppers, and therefore I believe Apple will approve this for the app store.

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  2. I’m with David. I have an iphone so that I’m always connected, no matter the locale. While some areas are certainly saturated with free wifi, that’s not reliable enough for most people. I have a hard time imagining that many individuals or business would sacrifice connectvity for cost unless the connectivity was unnecessary.

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  3. I had the same thought. My iPod Touch and cheap cell phone combination does me very well, for a lot less than I’d pay for a monthly iPhone subscription. Integrating Jajah/Skype whatever into my iPod is an interesting thought, but I still have my cell phone to make calls with WHEREVER I AM.

    I see the attempts to get VoIP onto the iPod Touch and elsewhere as a proof of concept approach. I can’t see it going anywhere really (until of course WIMAX is rampant). But I anticipate the cell phone companies have thought of that as well, and will offer a superior service to compete with the Skypes of the world.

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  4. [...] example, there was Mobispine’s MMS workaround, and, more recently, JAJAH, which wanted to turn your iPod touch into an iPhone. In both cases, the companies involved [...]

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  5. I really liked the way they came off

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  6. i am with david because even if this is posible you will have no warrantty beacause you changed the soft ware so if your ipod ever break you can not send it back unless you pay apple

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    1. 1. you can restore your ipod to factory settings without anyone being the wiser.. still skeptical then wait till after the warranty is over :)
      2.i already make full use and take advantage of skype on my ipod for a few quid you can get a bluetooth adapter for the ipod and pair it up with an headpiece and purchased a pair of mm50. dowloaded a few apps from cydia to keep skype running in the backround.
      for 3£ a month you can call any land line for free.
      also purchased a mifi from 3 so that i can use it on the move..for 5 pound a month or more you can subscribe to btopenzone and navigate the net almost anywhere

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