Good Gear Guide
History of Video Calls: From Fantasy to Flops to F...
Mobile Video Phones
The 1996 Panasonic prototype on the left was "the world's first cordless videophone" according to Popular Mechanics (awkward crop courtesy of that publication). It sent video at 3-7 frames per second over Japan's PHS and weighed over a pound.
To the right of that is the Kyocera VP-210 (1999), one of the first (if not the first) commercial cellular phones to offer video calling. Then we enter the 3G network era with the Sony Ericsson Z1010 (2003) and the NEC e606 (far right, 2003); both offered color video calling. Despite the availability of video calling on some phones throughout the 2000s, users still didn't consider it an essential feature.
Photos: Panasonic/Kyocera/NEC/ Sony Ericsson
History of Video Calls: From Fantasy to Flops to Facetime