As we noted on last night's special Talkcast, it seems inevitable that a desktop video-chat service will announce compatibility with Apple's iPhone 4 FaceTime feature sooner rather than later. Since Apple has its own chat tool that includes video, one imagines that iChat will be FaceTime friendly before too long. From the feedback we saw during our chat yesterday, however, that's not what the people want or hope for; overwhelmingly they said "give us Skype."
Based on a report from pocket-lint.com, that seemed like it might actually happen. The site quoted a source within Skype who said the VoIP company would "welcome the chance to work with Apple" on bringing mobile video calling to the hordes of Skypers around the world.
Hope may have sprung prematurely in this case, though. Electronista checked with a Skype spokesperson who walked the dog back a bit, saying that the company doesn't have any short-term plans for implementing Apple's standards-based video calling protocol, and that the prior comments simply referred to getting the "best possible experience" for video calls.
It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem here; do developers invest in desktop compatibility for a protocol that hasn't been proven in the field yet, or do they read the writing on the wall for the iPhone 4's likely market impact and get out ahead of the wave? Either way, mobile video chat is coming -- which means, once again, that we are actually livin' in the future.