Free Skype For BlackBerrys Due In May 2009

By PRESS RELEASE — April 03, 2009

LAS VEGAS --(Business Wire)-- The lite version of Skype, a 'thin' Skype client for mobile phones, will soon be available as a free download for BlackBerry smartphones.

A beta version will be available in May for the BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Curve smartphones, with support for other BlackBerry smartphones coming later.

The lite version of Skype delivers core Skype capabilities to BlackBerry smartphones, including:

  • Make Skype-to-Skype calls to other Skype users anywhere in the world
  • Send/receive instant messages to/from individuals or groups
  • Make Skype calls at low rates to people on landline or mobile phones
  • Receive calls to your online number on Skype
  • See when your Skype contacts are online/available to chat
BlackBerry smartphone users who download Skype can save money on calls to landlines and mobiles abroad, and stay connected with friends and family over Skype. The application works wherever your mobile phone works, without needing a WiFi connection. It uses local air time and a mobile Internet connection to sign in to Skype, update your contact list and presence and to send/receive calls or messages. As a result, you must have both a calling plan and a data plan to use the lite version of Skype.

"With Skype on BlackBerry smartphones, we are making Skype available in the briefcases and purses of BlackBerry users around the world," said Scott Durchslag, COO of Skype. "We have heard loud and clear that our users want Skype on whichever smartphone they choose to use. This fulfills our promise of making Skype available on the major smartphones so consumers and mobile professionals can connect to Skype whenever, wherever and however they choose."

The lite version of Skype will be available to BlackBerry users worldwide. The ability to make calls will be available in 10 countries: Australia, Brazil (Rio de Janeiro & Sao Paulo), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, the United States and the UK. English will be supported first, with additional languages to follow. Those who download the beta version will be able to provide feedback on the application via an online survey.

The lite version of Skype on BlackBerry smartphones is just the latest offering from Skype that allows users to take their Skype conversations with them. Skype recently announced the availability of the Skype for iPhone application, the lite version of Skype for Android-powered devices and more than 100 other Java-enabled mobile phones, as well as a strategic partnership with Nokia. Skype has also released Skype for Windows Mobile, an application that has been downloaded more than 12 million times worldwide.

The beta of the lite version of Skype will be available as a free download to BlackBerry smartphone users beginning in May from www.skype.com/m using their BlackBerry Browser.

Costs for using the lite version of Skype:
You will be charged by your mobile operator for local air time and data usage based on the type of calling service and data plan you have purchased. Since the lite version of Skype uses a mobile data connection to sign in to Skype, update your contact list, update presence and send/receive messages, you will be charged by your mobile operator for data usage. You will not incur charges from Skype when you make Skype-to-Skype calls or send instant messages to friends on Skype; however national calling rates apply from your mobile operator due to the use of local air time. Skype will charge its regular very low Skype rates when you call landlines and mobiles using Skype or when you receive calls on your mobile handset from other Skype users or people calling your personal online number. We highly recommend getting an unlimited data plan for use with the lite version of Skype. The longer you remain signed in, the more Skype contacts you have, or the more you send and receive instant messages, the more data you will use. Access to a broadband Internet connection is required. Skype is not a replacement for your traditional telephone service and cannot be used for emergency calling.

About Skype
Founded in 2003, Skype is revolutionizing the way people communicate around the world. Skype has more than 405 million registered users globally who use Skype software to communicate for free through voice and video calls as well as instant messages. Skype generates revenue through its premium offerings, such as calls made to and from landlines and mobiles, voicemail, call forwarding, and SMS. Skype is used in almost every country on Earth, and people have made more than 100 billion minutes worth of free Skype-to-Skype calls. Conversations over Skype can take place on computers, mobile devices and Skype Certified hardware. Skype certifies and sells hundreds of hardware products from more than 50 partners, and works with hundreds of third-party developers who have created plug-ins to extend Skype's functionality.
Skype is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY).


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