When Skype launched its mobile app on the iTunes App store in March, it quickly rose to the top of the charts, indicating that people had been thirsting for a mobile version of the Internet phone service. Meanwhile, INQ Mobile, a company that makes web-centric budget phones, has seen solid usage of Skype on its handsets. And why not? With 443.2 million subscribers using the service to make long-distance calls on the cheap, Skype qualifies as a king-maker. At the same time, Skype, which is eying an IPO, sees mobile devices as a way to goose up its revenue.
So when Palm released its much-awaited Pre device, we wondered if a Skype app would soon find its way into Palm’s app store, too, especially since the addition of a Skype app would make the Pre more attractive in an already crowded smartphone space. But according to a Skype spokesman, the company doesn’t have any plans to develop a Skype app for the Palm Pre. According to a statement sent via email:
“We are focused on delivering the best Skype experience for mobile consumers that we can, across any cell phone or mobile operating system. If someone has a cell phone, we want them to be able to use Skype on it. That’s our vision and we’ve already delivered new mobile applications for Windows Mobile, Java-enabled cell phones, Android-powered devices and the iPhone in the first half of 2009. As things are evolving quickly in this space, we will continue to keep our eye on Palm’s Pre and webOS platform, which seems to be getting good traction in its first weekend. But we have nothing to announce at this time.”
In other words, Skype, like many others, is sitting on the fence while it waits for Palm Pre’s webOS to become a legitimate platform.