Rumor: AT&T to Announce Support for Skype, Google Voice... on the iPhone?


The Washington Post is rumormongering that AT&T might just officially announce support for Skype and Google Voice on their 3G network at this week's CTIA show, and that they will run on Apple's iPhone.

Normally Apple and Apple alone tends to speak about what's coming to the iPhone, so we'd dismiss this outright except for the fact that Google Voice has been an increasing thorn in Apple's otherwise incredibly successful iPhone side as of late, especially among industry watchers, tech pundits, and... the FCC. So, getting AT&T to slide it into a CTIA announcement might just let Apple get everyone off their lawn, without having to publicly eat any crow.

AT&T has declined comment, but Smartphone Experts has editor-in-chief Dieter Bohn and fearless leader Kevin Michaluk live at CTIA this week, and TiPb has asked them to keep their ears peeled, and fingers at the ready, should anything come of this.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 28 comments. Add yours.

USAFRetired says:

This would be a good move in the right direction. It would make up for some of the issues people have with ATT's limited services for Iphone users. I hope it becomes reality.

rjmccollam says:

This would be good for a lot of people especially since I finally got my invite to Google Voice this morning!

flyingember says:

If this happens I bet Apple is pulling a "competition card" on AT&T involving T-Mobile.
Why T-Mobile? They already sell the phone through them in other countries.

icebike says:

If true this is great news. Its kind of like ATT giving up on the trans-boarder phone revenue generating any significant business.
It might be because Verizion's announced big push into Android phones.
Perhaps ATT is seeing that holding back the iPhones true potential is going to hurt them in the long run.
Maybe its Apple's price for extending the contract?
And maybe its wishful thinking, and rampant speculation, but its a fun rumor none the less.

Corey says:

If only they allowed Slingbox to use their 3G service. Then it would be a trifecta of goodness.......

Jeff says:

Yeah - they should allow Slingbox now!!!

Ed says:

There is an app in Cydia that will make all apps believe you are on wifi so you can run everything while on 3G.

Duh! says:

It's called 3G Unrestrictor and it works great!

icebike says:

What is it with this fascination with slingbox anyway?
Is it that you really can't be without your TV for your brief forays out of your basement into the light of day?
I don't get it. There is so little worth watching on TV that having it everywhere you go seems hardly worth the effort.

Zak Saber says:

I was just listening to today in iPhone podcast and was hearing what a great phone the iPhone can be when its jailbroken. I jailbroke many times before but for 3.1 I didn't yet. I was looking forward to jailbreaking again for using Skype over 3G but after reading this blog I think I might reconsider.

heathsnow says:

@icebike I couldn't agree more. I don't know a single person with Slingbox anyways.

Duh! says:

Well, I use Slingbox on my iPhone when I'm at work, or vacation if there is something on like a ball game and if I have time of course. Skype over 3G does work pretty darn well, and there is no technical reason that they shouldn't activate it. Voip data doesn't take up that much bandwidth after all.

icebike says:

I agree that Skype does not use a great deal of bandwidth. In fact, it probably uses less bandwidth than a regular cell call.
Call setup over skype/voip is someone else's problem. ATT hands the packets off to the net right at the tower, and its not their problem any more.
Voice calls are their problem. If I were them I would be charging for a base number of minutes and a dataplan and actively pushing the rest to the net as fast as I could.
After all, that is what LTE is all about anyway.

Duh! says:

I agree and I think that if they thought about it and implemented such a solution, it would solve a lot of problems with reliability.

JNGold says:

You OBVIOUSLY never been out shopping with a wife or significant other during a major sporting event. I know having the sling I can watch my Baseball games or NFL games when I am not home. If your not a sports fan, then you wouldn't understand.

icebike says:


You OBVIOUSLY never been out shopping with a wife or significant other during a major sporting event.

Ah, there's your problem. Wrong wife. ;-)
My wife is a bigger sports fan than I am. She wouldn't miss the event any more than I would. She will come bursting in the door any minute now, because the Play-In game between Twins/Tigers is due up in 15 minutes. We're particularly fans of either team, just fans of Baseball.

xultar says:

BUHWAWAWAWA! Suckers blinked. They knew they were in the wrong and are now pulling an Iran...(telling on themselves after we already had the intel).

xultar says:

@icebike Seriously, you need to get off the net and take some classes on how to get along with others.
I have a sling, I travel, and I tell you being in the airport @ a bar only showing stupid crap during a 2 hr delay is not fun aka ESPN and Fox News. So, I whip out the iPhone, netbook, or lappy, order up a martini and watch my TiVo or whatever I want to pass the time.
Also, the hotels I'm staying in suck @ t.v. they don't get the cartoon network! At night, while I'm winding down, with a martini I watch some Cartoon network, some Syfy, maybe some Investigation Discovery (Dr. G.) and I hit the sheets with the desk clerk with the tight ass. I don't know his name but I don't need to know. He looks like Vin Diesel so I don't give a rats.

xultar says:

BTW I didn't really swear in that post. The filter here is really tight.

icebike says:

Apparently this is more than jut a rumor.
Its starting to be reported in more places.
Mac world:
The new york times: (Job's bible):
@xultar: You need to get off the net and learn to understand other points of view. Seriously: martini AND cartoons? You need help.

SpiceRak2 says:

um...that was a scary amount of personal information.

Corey says:

@SpiceRak2 I second that.
The main reason I got a slingbox was to watch those sporting events that I would miss otherwise. My schedule and lifestyle require me to travel a lot, and I am a huge New England sports fan and I was tired of missing so many Bruins games. So I forked over the money, and now I can watch all my sports and shows wherever I am, but it would be so much easier if I didn't have to jailbreak my phone in order to do that.
If you aren't a big sports fan, you're right. I can't see the point of buying a slingbox, unless you wanted to show it off so bad.

melafeedele says:

wow , it's very good!! thanks 

Kevin P. says:

"Can't stop the signal" is from Firefly / Serenity, not Star Wars.
Yes, I know, this is really important :-)

Phantom says:

Wow, FCC must have given a good spanking to AT&T, good job!

SomeGuy says:

um you need to get off the net AND slingbox AND the martinis AND the cartoon network and maybe your stress level can go down and you can interpret posts better

bugs says:

i doubt att has the push to say what gets accepted by the app store.
apple is already afraid of google.