Video Phone Premium Doesn’t Make Sense


motorola_ojo_01.jpgA lot has been written about the video phones being all the rage at the CES. Many have waxed eloquent about the wonderful world where we can exchange video images with our friends and family in our jammies. Sure, it would mean that we might have to buy phones that cost a few hundred dollars. Motorola’s Ojo (rebranded WorldGate device) could set you back by a whopping $700. And then on top of that pay premium of around $10 a month for using this video service. Aswath, in this post here eloquently explains that the service providers are charging $10 a month for quality of service. Is this QoS worth $10 a month? I don’t know, considering that a hook-up from Motorola or Vonage or Packet 8 is going to set me back by atleast a $1000 to start with anyway? Does iChat, which is a nice little video phone in itself charge you a service premium? No. Do other video over IP products charge you a premium? No. I think the whole thing is a bit strange. And if this super premium pricing and expensive phones are to gain mainstream popularity, the pricing will have to change.


Om Malik

I love the performance of both Packet 8 and Ojo – the video is so crisp and all. But if i gave my family a low end ibook – it is $1000 + $200 for the isight and about $15 a month for broadband, we can do the whole thing cheaper with my parents. still i guess, i am hoping that the prices and the cost of equipment is going to fall drastically.


I totally agree with you, Om. I have a long distance relationship (I’m in Detroit; she’s in Toronto) and rather than run up exhorbitant cellphone bills, we’ve been using iChat’s video for free. I see no reason at all to change.

Jonathan Greene

I think this is a tough sell… I saw and played with the Ojo at Digital Life in the fall and while it certainly worked well, it’s pretty big for my desk and requires another one on the other end…

With iChat or SIP video you just plug in your camera to your computer and go – from wherever to whomever.

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