Those rumors from yesterday were true as Skype officially announced a “lite” version for Android and Java-enabled phones. Adding to the news is a beta version of Skype 1.0 for MIDs. Specificially, that means Intel Atom-based mobile Internet devices running on the Moblin platform.
Many folks get hampered by the idea of a MID simply because smartphones are providing a similar experience in some cases and also include voice calling. What’s interesting to me is how the Skype press release points out that “Select MIDs also provide WiMax or 3G/4G support for wireless broadband connectivity on-the-go.” With Skype, or another VoIP client for that matter, the “smartphones offer more” argument loses a little luster.
Wireless carriers have to be more than a little concerned as well. Sure they’ll still provide the 3G or 4G pipes, but voice traffic becomes a fading revenue stream for them as Skype expands to Java-enabled phones and MIDs. Skype’s COO, Scott Durchslag says it best: “By supporting WiFi, WiMax, 3G and 4G, this development expands Skype’s mobile portfolio and further illustrates the broad accessibility to Skype that we offer on a multitude of mobile devices.” Perhaps eBay will hold on to Skype a bit and wait to see if the carriers come calling… with buckets of money.