Skype Beta Calls on Symbian Phones

Skype continued to expand its mobile footprint today with the release of a beta version of its offering for Symbian S60 3rd Edition phones, a move which could be a step toward Skype becoming the ubiquitous real-time communications platform CEO Josh Silverman envisions for the company. The release supports 17 different models and includes basic features such as free Skype-to-Skype calling, instant messaging, group conversations and the ability to call phones with Skype credits or via subscription.

The Luxembourg-based company — which has emerged from its spinout from eBay (s ebay) and its legal troubles with founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis settled — has been extending its mobile effort over the past year to support Windows Mobile devices, the iPhone and the Nokia N900. Skype Lite, a stripped-down version of the software, is available for a few dozen handsets. Skype said it will build on its Symbian support with the commercial launch of Skype for Symbian next year, giving it better access to the OS that — while slipping — remains the dominant smartphone platform worldwide.

Photo courtesy Ryan Fanshaw Photography via Flickr.