IPhone users will be able to make free phone calls from today as Skype becomes available for the first time on the popular Apple gadget.

Skype, the internet telephone unit of eBay, has more than 450 million registered users. It has been pushing to make its service available on “smart-phones” – such as the iPhone – rather than only desktop computers. As with the Skype service on PCs, phone calls will be free between Skype users and calls to other landlines and mobiles will cost less than normal network rates.

Scott Durchslag, Skype’s chief operating officer, said: “There’s a pent-up demand. Skype software for the iPhone has been the No 1 request among our users.”

Skype also said that its service would be available on millions of BlackBerry phones in May. It has already announced Skype for Nokia phones, as well as handsets that run on Google’s “Android” software for mobiles such as the T-Mobile G1, and Windows Mobile phones.

Telephone companies continue their death spiral. They deserve it.




  1. MikeR says:

    And so approaches the day I may actually buy a cell phone. I refuse to join in until the telcos stop gouging.

  2. bb says:

    When are we going to see Skype for the Apple iPod Touch? Forget about jailbreaking an iPhone; in fact, forget about paying the telcos entirely.

  3. Bob says:

    @bb=#2, It’s for the iPhone AND the iPod touch…without jailbreaking. But the iPod touch doesn’t have a mic, so you have to use plug-in headphones with a built-in mic in order to use Skype for calls.

  4. Ron Larson says:

    I don’t have an iPhone. Does this use the iPhone’s camera for video chat?
    And if so, isn’t the camera on the backside, which would prevent you from watching video and recording video at the same time?

    Does the iTouch have a camera?

  5. god says:

    #3 – market share still pisses you off, eh?

  6. CuriousYellow says:

    Does this work when wifi-connected only, or also on the AT&T 3G? Would be amazed if the high-walled AT&T 3G garden permitted bypassing their steeply priced cellular minutes.

  7. Fring has been supporting Skype on iphone for ages. Both are great for calls in but cannot receive calls unless the app is open so its kinda useless really …. apparently there in the future this will work, but for now it doesn’t (unless you jailbreak and x, y, z but I’ve tried three times doing fancy stuff with jailbroken phones and each time I’ve ended up having to wipe everything out and rebuild the phone so I can’t really be bothered ….

  8. danijel says:

    This article is total BS! You can’t make free calls over skype on any of these devices (I testesd it on Android).

    The way it works is described on this page: http://skype.com/intl/en/download/skype/mobile/

    Instead of getting to talk directly over your WiFi or 3G internet connection, when you choose to talk with another skype user it dials a local telephone number and charges you for a local call. This way the telcos only loose on international charges, but still get a piece of the action.

  9. Don’t everybody get too excited yet. Skype on the iPhone only works with a wi-fi connection, not over 3G.

  10. MikeN says:

    Why do you guys support outsourcing your phone service? Why are you so unpatriotic, taking money away from American companies and American workers for some suits in Luxembourg?

  11. Luc says:

    “Telephone companies continue their death spiral. They deserve it.”

    Hum. Big words. I want to see this Skype app and this iPhone gadget push telephone companies down their “death spiral” without the telephone companies’ infrastructure.

  12. /T. says:

    # 9 danijel said …

    This article is total BS! You can’t make free calls over skype on any of these devices (I testesd it on Android).

    Umm… nope …

    Try …

    http://skype.com/intl/en/download/skype/iphone/

    ” * Free Skype-to-Skype calls from any WiFi zone.
    * Call phones and mobiles from your iPhone contacts at great rates¹.
    * See who’s online and send and receive instant messages on the move.

    Free Skype-to-Skype calls

    Sign into Skype from any WiFi zone and reach friends and family free with Skype-to-Skype calls”

    #11’s right though … only Wi-Fi , no 3G.

    Cheers,

    /T.

  13. furrypotato says:

    #6 Market Share ? How about Q4 2008 Worldwide Sales:

    Symbian OS:47.1%
    Blackberry:19.5%
    Windows Mobile:12.4%
    iPhone OS:10.7%
    Linux:8.4%

    San Fransisco may love the iPhone but the world isn’t really bothered.

  14. father time says:

    It only works if the app is open, close the app to do anything else and you are off the network. If you use the iPhone as intended, this skype app is useless.

    The iPhone needs a multitasking OS, but that would kill the pathetic battery.

  15. brm says:

    My N810 does skype calls. And plays Flash. And has cut-and-paste.

  16. EvilPoliticians says:

    Telephone companies continue their death spiral. They deserve it.

    Where did we do you wrong? I have worked in the industry the past 15 years.

    Don’t like the customer service? Pay for it. But no one wants to. Everyone wants free local and free long distance. All the features better be free too.

    It costs money to build a network. It costs money to employ the people to service it and you.

    The downward slope began when the long distance carriers began a war with “checks” that paid customers for switching to their service. Then rates plummeted to grab market share.

    Remember the Sprint commercial about sound quality so good you could hear a pin drop? No one gives a crap about that anymore. Just the lowest price – preferably free. Cell phone sound quality took that out of the equation.

    Customer service plummeted because LD rates dropped from 32 cents/minute to free.

    Tell you what, I’ll start up a full service communications company with landline, cell and internet if enough readers sign up for the cost of providing it.

    Full disclosure – I use Skype, Vonage and prepaid cell service to keep my own costs down. Thank you.

  17. Lou Minatti says:

    “It costs money to build a network. It costs money to employ the people to service it and you.”

    Your point is 100% valid. It should cost money. Otherwise there would be no phone service.

    My question is why the voice quality hasn’t improved. The phone call you make today over a phone line or cell phone still sounds like the one you made in 1989. It’s still AM quality when we should be getting FM quality. I think if the phone companies could make the quality as clean and near true fidelity as a Skype call, they could easily charge a premium for it.

  18. brm says:

    #21 EvilPoliticians:

    I wouldn’t have such a death wish for the telcos if they hadn’t bilked us out of billions of dollars of taxpayer money with the false promise of scheduling fiber to the home by the late 90s.

    “Remember the Sprint commercial about sound quality so good you could hear a pin drop? No one gives a crap about that anymore. Just the lowest price”

    Well no duh. You act like caring about the price is a bad thing that only stupid people do. I hate that attitude. Some people are willing to exchange quality for a lower price, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    No one cares about quality because the conversation is good enough as it is. I’ve *never* heard anyone complain about the quality of their phone call.

    You’re mad because just about every one else in the market cares about the features you don’t.

    “Cell phone sound quality took that out of the equation.”

    The only thing cell phones took out of the equation was the land line.

    “Customer service plummeted because LD rates dropped from 32 cents/minute to free.”

    I remember family blowouts over the phone bill back then. My mom could talk to her father for about a half hour a month. Now I phone home long-distance for about an hour every day.

    Believe me, this is a desirable state of affairs. So the one time a year I have to call customer service isn’t a whiz-bang experience. Big deal.

  19. EvilPoliticians says:

    # 23 brm – I am not mad. I just find the majority of people hypocritical. Everyone has a right to free land line/cell/internet service. Just don’t complain when the provider doesn’t cater to your every need.

    In so many ways, telecom is like the airlines (right down to the bankruptcies). After deregulation, price became the only deciding factor. Everyone gripes about the fee for this and the fee for that and the lousy service. You get what you pay for. It does cost money to maintain the plane, load it with fuel and pay the people to fly it. But everyone expects first class treatment at $99 round trip.

    Telecom is a commodity. Don’t complain about your fancy dinner when you only paid for a McDonald’s value meal.

    #22 Lou Minatti – I’ll build you a network with Dolby surround sound quality. How much are you willing to pay per month? How many customers can you bring with you?

    Again – full disclosure. I use Skype, Vonage and prepaid cell phones to keep my own costs down. But I accept what I am getting.


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