Thursday, December 30, 2010

Skype Makes Our Dreams Come True with Skype for iPhone 3.0, Video Chat Now Available!

After much waiting and anticipation, just like that – Skype for iPhone now comes with video. There had been rumors and sightings online about a possible release at CES next week, but Skype finally made our dreams come true with the release of Skype iPhone app. Skype has been no stranger to the news lately with an IPO next year and on the heels of its major outage – Skype "gave the people what they want," by enabling video chat chat capability across the Apple iDevice line, including the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and 4th generation iPod touch with i0S 4.0 or above. Like its previous iPhone apps, Skype for iPhone 3.0 is free.

Mobile video has been considered one of the biggest trends that will explode in 2011, and now Skype's impending dominance of the two-way video chat market is apparent. With its global and mainstream reach of approximately 25 million people signed into Skype at any given time, along with its recent integration with Facebook, Skype has become the biggest disruptor of the live video space. Ironically, among the list of competitors includes Apple's FaceTime, along with Google voice and video chat, Fring, ooVoo, Qik and other live video mobile apps.

Techcrunch's Leena Rao spoke with Rick Osterloh, VP of Consumer Products for Skype, who said that the company had been working on developing video capability in the app for some time and that Apple has been a "great partner" and that “mobile is going to be big for Skype."

 In Skype's press release today, Neil Stevens, general manager of Skype’s consumer business said:
"With video calling representing approximately 40% of all Skype-to-Skype minutes for the first six months of 2010, our users have been eager to get Skype video calling on their mobile phones. By bringing video to mainstream users at their home or work via their desktops, on the go with their mobiles, or into their living room via their TV, Skype has made it possible for millions of people to share video moments wherever they are.”
With this new software, users will be able to:
  • Make free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls over 3G and WiFi.*
  • Share video calls on Skype with people on specified iPhones, PC or Mac.
  • Talk face-to-face or show what you're seeing with front- and rear-facing cameras.
* Additional data charges may apply. Skype recommends a strong WiFi connection for video calling to get the best quality.

Check out this bizarre Skype ad introducing the new iPhone app. (Friendly warning: Don't watch this if you are creeped out by guys dancing around their underwear, as evidence of the the video thumbnail. It seems that the producers wanted to show that you can "share the moment, anywhere.)

The application works in both portrait and landscape mode, but the downside with the iPhone 3GS and iPad is that neither have a front-facing camera, which makes it less ideal for video chat – but you can receive video on the iPad and chat with a compatible headset and use the rear-facing camera on the iPhone 3GS. However, that may change if the iPad2 comes equipped with a camera. 

Your device will need to be running iOS 4.0 or above and that you are using Skype for iPhone 3.0 or above. The contacts you are calling must be using one of the following Skype clients:
  • Skype for Windows version 4.2 and above
  • Skype for Mac OS X version 2.8 and above
  • Skype for iPhone 3.0 and above
There are many hands-on reviews of the the app on EngadgetGigaOm9 to 5 MacTMCnet and others, and the reports are that the video quality is clear but not as clear as FaceTime. 9 to 5 Mac estimated that video calls over 3G will use around 3.4 MB of data per minute.

Skype has been growing steadily with 560 million users and 8.1 million of those users pay an average of $96 a year for premium services. Skype generated $13 million in profit on net revenues of $406 million in the first half of 2010. Skype's Android app doesn't yet support video calling, but Skype may have more releases set for CES and ooVoo just released their Android version.


About Skype
Skype is a communications platform provider whose purpose is to break down barriers to communication. With an Internet-connected device, families, friends and colleagues can get together for free with messaging, voice and video. At low cost, they can also call landlines or mobiles virtually anywhere in the world. Skype has recently introduced group video, allowing groups of more than two people to do things together whenever they're apart.

Founded in 2003 and based in Luxembourg. Skype can be downloaded onto computers, mobile phones and other connected devices for free at

You can get news and updates from Skype on its blog: Twitter: or Facebook: