Well, our Japanese brothers and sisters got a little head-start, but now we’ll be able to check it out for ourselves. Yes — it’s available right now. Let us know if you get your download on and what you think, ok?
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It is officially official,Ã‚Â Skype will be launching an iPhone version of its popular VoIP software on Tuesday and a BlackBerry version in May. Skype for the iPhone will be the standard run of the mill Skype application with an interface consistent with the iPhone’s slick UI. As with the desktop version, Skype to Skype calls will be free, while Skype to traditional numbers will incur a nominal fee. The VoIP service will require access to a Wi-Fi network and will not run over a cellular connection. Additionally, the iPhone version of Skype will also support chatting and, thankfully, this feature will be available via a cellular connection. There’s also several unique features including the ability to use the camera hardware to capture a photo or to pull in a picture from your photo album for use within the Skype application. Incoming conference calls can be accepted but the ability to initiate an outgoing conference call is not yet available. Not surprisingly, video calling will also not be available in these upcoming mobile versions but is reportedly being considered for future releases for the iPhone and other handsets. Best news of all, the Skype app for the iPhone will be available from the App store for free. Sorry BlackBerry users, but no additional information on the BlackBerry version yet. With a launch slated for May, you all may have to wait until WES rolls around. Hit the jump for a few more screen grabs.
Not long ago, a story ran around the blogosphere pitching the idea that Apple should take the piles of cash it’s sitting on and use it to revolutionize the banking industry. Sure, “iBank” is an interesting concept but there’s one major rub: Apple knows nothing about banking. Apple is a computer company, a digital service company, a hardware manufacturer, a software company and many other things, but it is by no means a bank. The time, new hires, training and investment it would take to prep Cupertino for a banking entrance negates much of the potential benefit and as such, it won’t happen. The same can be said for an online auction house entering the telco industry – the only problem is the latter example actually happened. When eBay purchased Skype four years ago for $2.6 billion, many wondered what it was thinking. Now, four years later, eBay finally seems to be wondering the same thing… What were we thinking? As a result of some comments made by eBay CEO John Donahoe regarding its recent earnings call, the internet is ablaze once again with rumors that the company is finally looking to offload Skype. Donahoe:
[Skype would make a] great stand-alone busines… The synergies between Skype and the other parts of our portfolio are minimal. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to continue to run and operate the business. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a distraction currently. And at such time when we have further announcements on that, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll let you know.
Of course as is always the case with any story citing analyst sources and inference, this is all speculation for the time being. We consider this a feeler from Donahoe; I’ll be taking calls from interested parties, if you will. Bottom line? eBay is an auction house. Paypal – awesome, logical buy. Skype – not so much.