iPhone Daily: The iPhone and mobile video

Happy iPhone week, everybody! We’re just four sleeps away from the release of perhaps the most hyped gadget ever. Of course, that means that there is a flood of media coverage. Why read it all when you can come here for the highlights? We’ll have at least one iPhone post here per day all week, highlighting an aspect of the phone you may be overlooking. Either that, or a roundup of what the pundits are saying. Today, we begin with what many people consider the most awe-inspiring feature of the iPhone: the mobile video. You might be familiar with the current state of mobile video. Generally, it is a collection of major networks (ABC, Comedy Central, ESPN, etc.) that provide news and entertainment clips for a fee. For example, if you want Verizon’s V Cast, it’s going to cost you between $15 and $25 per month. With the iPhone, however, you can view video for free. Now, we’re not talking breaking news or your favorite sports highlights (though many sports videos are quick to appear — and then be deleted — from the Internet). What the iPhone offers is free access to YouTube. So, instead of providing utility (keeping up to date on news and entertainment), it provides a diversion. And it provides it for free. Plus, you can find all the latest news and sports scores — sans the video — with the iPhone’s web application. Will this spur the demise of costly video content on mobile phones? Certainly not at first. Only a limited number of iPhones will be available initially, so the market won’t be penetrated enough to make significant change right off the bat. However, as more iPhones are released, it could be cause for change. The first step, as we see it, would be for the networks that have material on, for example, V Cast, to expeditiously remove their material on YouTube. That’s just a temporary fix, though, like the record industry suing heavy downloaders. We think you’ll see a revamping of the way carriers deal with mobile video over the next year or so. ]]>

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