This was one of the most-read product announcements in our weekly Mobilizer newsletter for Q1 2009. Click here for more.
LAS VEGAS --(Business Wire)-- Skype released a lite version of Skype, a 'thin' client for Skype that can be downloaded on Android-powered devices, as well as more than 100 other Java-enabled mobile phones.
This launch builds on successful public testing last year and the incorporation of user feedback to an earlier beta version which was only available on a limited number of mobile devices. The updated beta now makes Skype software broadly available to millions of mobile users worldwide, including for the first time, mobile users in the U.S.
The lite version delivers core Skype capabilities including:
By bringing the world's leading Internet communications software to mobile phones, Skype users can save money on calls to landlines and mobiles abroad, and stay connected with friends and family over Skype while on the go.
- 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 personal phone number on Skype
- See when your Skype contacts are online/available to chat
The lite version of Skype works wherever your mobile phone works, without requiring a WiFi connection. The lite version of Skype uses local air time and a mobile internet connection in order to sign in to Skype, update your contact list, update presence and send/receive calls or messages, so you must have both a calling plan and a data plan on your mobile phone to use it.
"Making the Skype experience available for download to Android-powered devices, as well as hundreds of other mobile phones from the world's leading handset manufacturers is a major step forward for Skype," said Scott Durchslag, COO of Skype. "Nearly half the world's population are mobile phone users today and we know that many people who already use Skype want the option to use Skype on their mobile phones. We are committed to working towards our goal of getting Skype into the pockets of the mobile masses."
The lite version of Skype is currently available for Android devices, which today include the T-Mobile G1, the first Android-powered mobile phone currently available in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is expected to also work on other future Android devices. Android device users can download this beta version of Skype by visiting Android Market.
It also works on more than 100 of the most popular Java-enabled phones from the world's top five handset manufacturers -- LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.
For instructions on downloading the lite version of Skype to LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson phones, users can visit www.skype.com/m using the mobile browser on their phone or www.skype.com/go/mobiledownload from a computer.
The web page includes a directory of the mobile phones currently supported.
The lite version of Skype is available globally, with the ability to make Skype-to-Skype calls and low cost calls to landlines and mobiles abroad currently available in ten countries: the United States, United Kingdom, Poland, Brazil (Rio and Sao Paolo), Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Australia and New Zealand.
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 may 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.
First Version of Skype Now Available for Intel-based Mobile Internet Devices
Skype 1.0 Beta for Intel-based Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). This new version of Skype software is the result of working with Intel Corporation to develop a new mobile Skype experience for MIDs based on the Intel Atom processor and Moblin-based Linux OS (www.moblin.org).
MIDs are an emerging category of small, truly mobile consumer devices enabling a rich Internet experience, coupled with the capability to communicate with others, enjoy entertainment, access information, and be productive on the go -- all without sacrificing mobility or performance. MIDs typically come with 4"-7" screens, a camera, GPS and WiFi connectivity. Select MIDs also provide WiMax or 3G/4G support for wireless broadband connectivity on-the-go. ABI Research expects 86 million Linux-enabled MIDs to ship by 2013.
Skype 1.0 Beta for MIDs empowers these devices with a rich communications capability through a new, optimized interface which is designed to deliver a great experience and fast, smooth kinetic scrolling support on the touch screen displays of MIDs. The software enables you to make free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls to anywhere in the world, in addition to cheap calls to landlines and mobiles. It also includes instant messaging, group IM, SMS, call forwarding, voicemail, presence (seeing when your contacts are online) and the ability to receive calls from other Skype users or to your personal online number. MIDs' faster performance and wireless connectivity also enable Skype users to experience an excellent mobile video calling experience.
"[The] introduction of the first, complete Internet communications offering for MIDs bridges the gap between the phone and PC and underscores our vision of 'Skype everywhere' and our commitment to open access," said Scott Durchslag, Skype's Chief Operating Officer. "By supporting WiFi, WiMax, 3G and 4G, this development expands Skype's mobile portfolio and further illustrates the broad accessibility to Skype that we offer on a multitude of mobile devices."
"Mobile Internet Devices enable users to enjoy the full Internet experience and stay connected with their friends and family wherever they go," said Pankaj Kedia, director of global ecosystem programs in the Ultra Mobility Group at Intel Corporation. "Our collaboration with Skype to deliver Skype 1.0 Beta for Mobile Internet Devices based on the Intel Atom processor and Moblin-based Linux OS will provide new ways for users to communicate anywhere, anytime."
Skype is working with Intel to deliver its application software for MIDs through Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). By offering the Skype software on their devices, device manufacturers can provide consumers with an array of rich internet communications experiences -- instant messaging, group IM, voice and video calls -- right out of the box.
Founded in 2003, Skype is revolutionizing the way people communicate around the world. Skype has more than 370 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).