Skype announced the launch of the new version of its iPhone application. Available to download from the Apple App Store, this update allows iPhone users to make and receive Skype-to-Skype calls, and to call mobiles and landlines around the world at very low rates for the first time over their 3G data connection.
Skype-to-Skype calls on 3G will be free for a trial period which will run until the end of 2010*. Details of pricing will be announced in the coming months and will be in line with Skype's commitment to providing customers with great value. Skype-to-Skype calls over WiFi will still remain free.
“Using Skype on 3G has been the number one request among our iPhone customers. This new version is a great step towards enabling our customers to take and use Skype everywhere they go”, said Russ Shaw General Manager for Mobile, Skype. “Using Skype on iPhone without being restricted to the availability of a WiFi network will open up new ways for Skype customers to stay connected and make free or low-cost calls whenever they want, wherever they are in the world.”
“We have a group of young tennis players that are constantly travelling inside Spain and around the world. One of them is my daughter, she travels a lot and we use Skype to communicate because it’s easier, faster and cheaper. The change of having Skype on the mobile phone has been crucial for us. Before we had to look for a computer in the tennis clubs and hotels and it was a real problem because it was very difficult to find one,” said Alexei Starkov, the physical/fitness coach of the Federación de Tenis de Madrid. “Tennis is an individual sport and when you travel by yourself at times you feel very lonely. Now with Skype for iPhone also allowing for calls over 3G you can call anytime and anywhere without having to find a WiFi spot.”
Additional new features of the Skype for iPhone application include:
* Near CD-quality sound for Skype-to-Skype calls using wideband audio on iPhone 3GS or 2nd generation iPod touch and onwards.
* Enhanced call quality indicator, which will help customers choose the best moment to call.
* Improved start-up time
* Rapid access to the dial pad from the home screen
The new version is compatible with the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch and iPad. Skype requires iPhone OS version 3.0 and above.
Calling functionality is available on iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and 2nd generation iPod touch onwards. iPod touch requires a compatible headset with a microphone.
The Skype for iPhone application is available to download for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch, or at www.skype.com/go/iphone