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After Verizon, Skype Friends Japan’s KDDI

If its deal with Verizon Wireless (s vz) was merely an indication of Luxembourg-based Skype’s true intentions to closely partner with large cellular providers and find future growth, then today that became clear-as-a-day. The company announced that it is signing up KDDI, a Japanese phone company, which will integrate Skype into some of its handsets.

As part of the deal, Skype will run on KDDI’s two Android-powered (s goog) smartphones –“IS03” and “IS01” — and will later be integrated into devices (most feature phones) running Qualcomm’s (s qcom) Brew OS in 2011. The first handsets will come to market in November.

Skype released a version of its client for Android recently. The Skype app (on all KDDI handsets it will support) will run in the background and make it easy to receive instant messages all the time. Skype-to-Skype calls will be free, and Skype will charge for SkypeOut calls, which are going to go over the KDDI voice network.

Skype has been working on a “Skype Everywhere” strategy. It wants to be on more devices and wants to make it easy for folks to call each other using Skype, and when they need to reach a non-Skype number, the consumers end up using its SkypeOut service. Skype depends on SkypeOut, and needs to keep growing this revenue source if it wants to have a successful initial public offering.

Related research from GigaOM PRO (subscription required):

7 Responses to “After Verizon, Skype Friends Japan’s KDDI”

  1. Still i saw that the only way to find skype users from all over the world at

    This have been started by skype users who wanted to find other users.Skype has no service available like this.

    The reason is because sky want to make money with SkypeOut Calls.

  2. this is certainly not in the interest of consumers. the best thing to happen is for VOIP to be deployed ‘over the top’ with the relationship going directly between the user and VOIP company. adding in the operator as a middle man will only increase the cost to users.

      • yes. skype on both iphone and nokia works very well, but for some reason the new android version is full of bugs and not working as well.

        VOIP partners for phone manufactures in my opinion make a lot more sense than carrier partners.

        i would even say that a dedicated skype cell phone that is designed to work with a ‘data only SIM’ of the type intended to go into USB sticks and MIFIs. might to just the thing that would get consumers to buy unsubsidized phones outside of the phone carriers’s stores.

      • Tom

        To be honest, I have a tough time switching between iPhone and Android apps mostly because of the disparity in the experience and as a result have not played around with the Android version of Skype at all.

        Anyway, I think folks from 3 had that “Skype” approach to a phone but unfortunately it is not available in the US. I bet US phone companies would nix any such device plans. For now, I think the iPod Touch with MiFi is a great option.

      • actually the 3 skypephone is like the deal with verizon. it uses the cellular voice channel and is very much a deal between skype and the carrier 3.

        what i am thinking of is a skype cell phone deal with a manufacture for sale outside of carriers channels that works with data only SIM cards that are intended top go into USB sticks or MIFI devices.