Is Skype/Verizon Deal Delaying Skype Over 3G for iPhone?

iPhone Skype Wi-Fi

Is the recently announced Skype/Verizon deal delaying the release of Skype over 3G for the iPhone? Previously AT&T announced they would change their policy and allow VoIP over 3G, Apple announced they would change their SDK agreement to allow it, and Skype announced they would provide it to their iPhone users. AT&T has come through, Apple has come through, other VoIP clients have begun offering 3G. And Skype...? They said they were waiting to make sure Apple was okay with it. They made sure. They said they were waiting to improve 3G call quality. And...? Still nothing.

They did, however, announce a deal for Skype over 3G with Verizon at Mobile World Congress a couple weeks ago. Since then, WMExperts tell us the Windows Mobile Skype app is no longer available for download. According to Venture Beat (via BGR) their Symbian Skype App has now been pulled from the Ovi Store. When asked why Skype was removed from the Ovi Store, Venture Beat was told:

Skype has made a decision in the United States to not promote the Skype for Symbian app through the Ovi Store. We did this so that we could drive more attention to the recently announced Skype and Verizon Wireless agreement. This was a marketing decision — plain and simple

The iPhone Skype app [Free - iTunes link] is still in the App Store (after a short hiccup) but it's still Wi-Fi only. When asked for comment after the Verizon agreement, a Skype rep would only tell TiPb that there was no further updates since last time.

So, is it just taking longer than we expected to get that really great 3G voice quality out for Skype? Or has the Verizon deal sucked all the attention out of the room? 9to5Mac thought so a couple weeks ago, do the Windows Mobile and Symbian actions now lend credence?

Are you still waiting for Skype over 3G for iPhone, or have you started using alternatives? Let us know!

Rene Ritchie

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

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Reader comments

Is Skype/Verizon Deal Delaying Skype Over 3G for iPhone?

15 Comments

You really have to wonder, but with the massive number of iPhone users and million(s) of downloads to the app you would think it would remain a priority.
In its current state it is almost more of a proof of concept rather than a functional app since it only works when you are in it. I have used Skype in Fring which actually makes it usable since it has push and keeps you logged in for at least several hours and you can receive calls and messages but the voice quality sucks to say the least. Did I mention Fring even shows video? I mean come on Skype, pick up the pace. If Fring had the voice quality and didn't look like some cheezy 90s graphics it would be pretty amazing. Also Fring currently works over 3G. I better stop its just getting depressing talking about it. Maybe they should partner and work together to deliver quality.
Its basically whats holding me back from paying for credit or subscription. I have little interest in sitting at my desktop/laptop to make calls and want to be mobile accessible.

Snowstorm:
Unrestrictor only does half the job. The problem isn't one of finding wifi. Its one of having to schedule your call times.
I use skype for international mobile to mobile calling to friends in Europe. Without notifications its pretty useless.
Yes, I can use Fring or IM+ to get the notifications, then launch skype, and get very good quality on wifi, but thats a pain to run one app for notifications and another app for actual use.

@Dionte Free update to iPhone users? Sure. But think about all the Skype credit those iPhone users will purchase so they can make regular phone calls via Skype over 3G. Think of all the unlimited calling plans Skype will sell to those same iPhone users. There is a lot of money to be made by Skype on the iPhone, too bad they have their heads up their asses to realize it.
I'm not going to switch to Verizon to get Skype. Not only that but Skype for Verizon is crippled, it's not full blown Skype. It still uses your mobile plan minutes when placing calls. Another "F" you by Verizon to it's users. Skype needs to quit screwing around and release 3G support for the iPhone.

Well, Skype for Android doesn't exist yet. Skype has also pulled Skype Lite for Android from the market.

All comments and article valid for USA but there are a few more countries in the world which use iPhone and Skype and shock horror have never even heard of Verizon.....

I don't use skype, but how come you can't use 3g unrestrictor & backgrounder to keep this ap live and running all the time. Sure it may use a little more battery, but should solve some problems.

Who cares about Skype which is proprietary, SIP is the VoIP STANDARD, so apps that do it already like Fring rule. Just get an ITSP and you are set. Hopefully Apple will integrate SIP at the Core OS level soon...

I came across this new site called Callarc.com that promises to make international voip calls free, they plan to offer web based as well as iphone/android apps calls. I just signed on to be a beta tester and cant wait until it launches. Check out Callarc.com if you want to sign up too......