Video: Interview With Skype CEO — Where is Skype for the iPhone?

72 thoughts on “Video: Interview With Skype CEO — Where is Skype for the iPhone?”

  1. The Skype people like to drag their feet when it comes to delivering clients for mobile devices. I imagine that they’re more focused on delivering their own Wi-Fi handsets, which is ridiculous, because I don’t imagine that they sell many of those.

    However, there’s a lot of restrictions that Apple has placed on developers that make the iPhone hostile to VOIP providers. The inability to run in the background or to make or receive calls over 3G would really limit Skype’s usefulness.

  2. @Rick

    Actually I kinda agree – this is one place advertising doesn’t make much sense. they can make micro-pennies and still have the volume to build a sizeable business. Advertising on their client would only clutter the experience.

  3. what about the mac client. it’s dying slowly and 1.3 versions behind the windows one. they need to take us mac users more seriously.

    @rick, Om is right. user experince is the key here. there are way too many clients out there that do similar things and all have untargeted, unsolitied ads. i like the skype freemium business model!

  4. There are three key phrases that you have to watch for when talking with anyone from Skype – “stay tuned”, “we’re working hard on it”, and “we love our customers…”. All three mean the same thing – we’re not doing squat, we don’t care what you think, and we hope that by mumbling something and keeping our head down, the noise will blow over.

    From what I can see in your interview, he at least didn’t parrot the ridiculous “339 million users” rubbish yet again – unless you edited it out, or perhaps he knew that you would challenge him on it.

  5. Guys, come on, isn’t it just a matter of time before Apple releases an iPhone specific version of iChat? That will at least enable voice chats from wifi locations. It’s doubtful they’ll easily let Skype steal the march on this.

  6. Extrapolating subject out to something that is much more likely to happen, “Where is Skype for Android?”

    There will never be an official, blessed Skype for the iPhone. Pigs will fly in frozen Hell first.

    But Android’s stack ( Open Source in Q2 09 BTW )does have an intentional empty place holder for SIP in it.

  7. Todd, Android also has hooks for xmpp/jingle. SIP and XMPP are real standards, not a proprietary closed protocol such as the one skype uses. Skype really only has two options, Open up or die.

  8. I think developing software that integrates with the mobile phone is key to long term success given how trends are going. I think another key point is that there’s a lot more competition for Skype than when they first became really popular. Jaxtr, Rebtel, all the different calling cards, and many others make this a highly competitive space for Skype.

  9. I doubt we’ll see skype on the iphone. With the new microphone and speaker, you might be able to see Skype on the Ipod Touch. I went to the Apple Store and tried to download Truphone (another VOIP app) on the new Ipod touch — and it wouldn’t allow it. So Skype could offer a Touch client and not get carriers attacking them.

    Of course, without background applications, Skype would be pretty useless. Skype is also trying to be a “communications” always on company — when most people use them for cheap international calling. Someone else will come around and eat their lunch. Truphone, however, wont: their international rates are the same price as AT&T.

    The problem with all the VOIP services is it hard to compete with free.

  10. @Raymond Padilla – Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that I don’t want or wouldn’t use Skype on the iPhone. I would love for Skype to make an app, even with the limitations imposed by Apple.

    What I was trying to say is that I don’t think that Skype feels the need to jump onto a hostile development platform. Apple’s restrictions would make it impossible to provide the user-experience and features that Skype would want in an application. So, as a developer, why would you want to add value to a platform that makes it hard for you to do business?

    Skype should be more on the ball about developing for Symbian and Windows Mobile. Those platforms aren’t nearly as good as the experience the iPhone provides, but they’re each a lot more open, and that’s something that developers should encourage.

  11. Here’s the thing. If you can download Skype to an iPod touch, then why would you need to buy an iPhone or even an cell phone plan. Until they figure out how to add it without screwing up the cell market. We ren;t going to see it happen.

  12. Lou, you still couldn’t use the Skype/touch combo over wifi in more rural areas where there is no wifi but there would be mobile phone coverage. Also while mobile at high speeds such as when driving where you’d constantly be passing in and out of multiple wifi networks so rapidly that Skype/touch would be no good there either. These are some very popular uses for which iPhone/mobile phones are hard to beat.

    However, I’d say that an official Skype app for the new iPod touch 2G makes so much sense it is outrageous. In my opinion the app should have been ready the same day as the touch 2G.

  13. j a watson.. you are a troll! I googled you. all you do is rant about skype. you show up in each and every post that mentions skype. you are a bona fide skype hater. did you used to work there and get fired? wow dude… this poison is eating you up. you just have to let it go

  14. The linux version is old too. I just want to be able to get rid of skype entirely. The protocol sucks, the client sucks, the lockin sucks, I just want it to go die a horrible death.

    Hopefully Empathy will allow us to move on.

  15. The CEO saying “Stay Tuned” and even blaming the carriers for not giving them access tells me that they are far away from launching. Wouldn’t even bite when asked if it would be before the year ends.

    Sad that they started so late with the iPhone and are not able to produce…

  16. Can you even get a data only plan? Otherwise, you would need an iPhone with no plan and just use wi-fi or if you are like me and have AT&T, spend a freaking fortune on voice and date… then use skype.

    Why use skype then?

  17. Nice interview, thank you Om.

    Skype has had its share of difficulties getting mobile clients to market. So don’t hold your breath for a Skype client on the iPhone. There are too many technical and business obstacles, unfortunately.

  18. I think the ceo is out of his dept here.
    I don’t think he knowns much about the business yet.
    hope he can get a grip or its all over for them, when a couple of the smaller guys get the jump with clients for mobile devices.

  19. Skype should roll out the chat and sms application first, they can always update the application to have voice and other functions later, at least they could keep the ipod touch users happy.

  20. Skype can STILL be rescued. See US Patent 7,089,319 – the only viable and available option for them. Keep the peer-to-peer, dump the augmented legacy Kazaa delivery method, get your hands around the platform and open it up via SDK…Just contact the authors and arrange a deal. The only rescuing that is required here is to rescue Skype from themselves…

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,089,319.PN.&OS=PN/7,089,319&RS=PN/7,089,319

  21. Hi people at Skype the only thing i have to say is every company is looking for something to keep in front of the rest you had it and then stopped it i think they call it a killer app and if Apple came up with this by now we would all have a iPhone and no one would be using Skype the best Apps that is slipping away from you is SKYPECASTS you had is Apple is thinking about it do not let them beat you to it. Come on Skype people it just needed a few tweaks so let’s have it back quick before they beat you to it

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