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Summary:

Really? Come on, really? It was almost like waking up on Christmas morning and hurrying down the stairs, only to find that there are no presents under the tree. I’m referring, of course, to the release of the official, free Skype application (iTunes link) for iPhone […]

skype_on_iphoneReally? Come on, really? It was almost like waking up on Christmas morning and hurrying down the stairs, only to find that there are no presents under the tree. I’m referring, of course, to the release of the official, free Skype application (iTunes link) for iPhone that took place first thing this morning in every country where the App Store exists, except for the one I happen to be living in right now. Canadian iPhone owners are out of luck, because Skype is not coming to their phones.

In a way, I shouldn’t be surprised. Most U.S.-based streaming media content, from the likes of Hulu and Pandora (and soon Last.fm, too, unless you’re willing to fork over a subscription) doesn’t make its way north of the border. Foolishly, I believed that a simple app like Skype, which just provides a convenient package for a service we already have access to via the web and other iPhone applications, would go through without a hitch.

The official reason the app isn’t available to Canadians is that a patent-license issue is preventing Skype from making it available, according to a company spokesperson. Other outlets suspect more sinister motives, pointing the finger at Rogers Wireless, who, along with their subsidiary Fido, are the only iPhone carriers in Canada. Digital Home, thinks that Rogers may have blocked the app to try to protect their wireless talk revenue. Remember, this is the land of the three-year contract we’re talking about here, so a little strong-arming isn’t exactly out of character.

Whatever the reason, you can always go the backdoor route and just download and sync Skype using an American iTunes account, which is not a difficult thing to get regardless of your country of origin. That’s exactly what I did, and so now my iPhone is fully Skype-capable in Canada. Currently, I’m having issues with getting speakerphone to work, and the mic seems to be cutting out, but I’m fairly sure that’s an iPhone OS 3.0 bug, not a problem with the program or the connection. Anyways, go download your copy now if you’re living anywhere except for Canada, or if you’re smart enough to navigate that minor blockade, and let us know how it’s working for you.

  1. If you’re in Canada, open up a USA iTunes account. You cannot convert your existing account to US without a USA billing method, but if you create a new account through iTunes you will see a “None” option beside billing methods.

    You only see this “None” option if you click to buy a FREE item in the iTunes store and create an account through that process.

    Step 1: Log out of your account
    Step 2: Go to USA store using the dropdown at the very bottom of the iTunes store homepage
    Step 3: Go to the Skype application
    Step 4: When you click Buy Now, select Create An Account
    Step 5: Complete the registration process
    Step 6: Select “None” beside Billing

    Have fun

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  2. this is a probably a dumb question but how do you get a US iTunes account while living in Canada? I’m a canuk myself and would like to know. I’d love to get access to way more tv shows than what we have here.

    Cheers!

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  3. I tried to give you the steps above. Is there a certain step where you run into a problem?

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  4. I know I’m missing something obvious but can you have 2 iTunes accounts for 1 iPhone? Otherwise, I can always use my Fring app until the Skype app (eventually, I hope, I hope, I hope) comes to Canada.

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  5. Potentially stupid question:

    Once I create the new account, does syncing get affected? Do I need to redownload everything in the new account, or will iTunes still sync everything?

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  6. I had the same experience you did. All that enthusiasm just came crashing to the ground. Thanks for for going further and finding out what was going on. I will try your work around and see how it goes.

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  7. Not sure why this is such a big deal … I have been using Numbuzz and works like a dream for skype… p.s don’t tell rogers… besides what is the diff if you use it on your phone or computer .

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  8. Once you download Skype, you should log out of iTunes and log back in as your Canadian account. Then Sync. You’ll still get Skype moved over.

    If you sync using your US account, you might wind up with every app you’ve ever downloaded installed since the app settings are per account.

    Yes, you can use more than one iTunes account with your iphone/touch.

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  9. Gimme a break! Poor Canadians! I’ll bet you weren’t crying when you got an iTunes store 2 years before New Zealand. We got movies in August 2008 and still don’t have any TV shows. It’s not like they’re picking on Canada. I’d be crying kudos to Skype for getting it out in as many countries as possible from the get go.

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