Skype is leaping up in the hype sweepstakes. Everywhere I go, I hear about this company. Folks who till recently ignored the software and the service have been waxing eloquent about it. No surprise that Skype is making a quick appearance in the blogsphere as well. Today for instance, my dear friends at Engadget tell us that Skype has signed a deal with HTC, the makers of i-Mate Pocket PC phone. Sweet! The wi-fi enabled phone is perfect for Skype. (Andy calls once a day to remind me and brag! Andy has the EV-DO service from Verizon.) Still, don’t expect any big handset makers like Nokia or Samsung to bundle it with their products. The carriers who tend to lose voice traffic (less spectrum crowding) to a data service (a spectrum hog) and lose voice revenues are going to go ape-shit about this.
I’m increasingly of the opinion the wireless industry is a nice, cozy club for the carriers and device makers. Each group has a vested interest in making each other happy. With the wireless industry finally gaining financial momentum, each constituency is loathe to upset the competitive environment. That’s why Skype will likely always be on the outside looking in. [Mark Evans]
No arguments from me on this one. Stuart speculates that Skype’s Smart Phone version – Symbian and Pocket PC at this point – is going to be out anytime. I expect that soon enough you will see OTA upgrades to the mobile phone OS(es) which will disable Skype. I am pretty sure, I-Mate might soon be finding that carriers don’t love them very much. SkypeIn, as Stuart suggests might be victim of carrier arm-twisting.