LUXEMBOURG, April 24, 2008 – Following recent moves to extend Skype™ conversations to a wide variety of new mobile and wireless devices, Skype is taking another major step as it continues to merge its internet communications software with mobile phones. Today, the company released a beta version of Skype for your mobile, a mobile “thin“ client that works on about 50 of the most popular Java-enabled mobile phones from Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.
The beta version of Skype for your mobile is available worldwide with a feature set that includes chat, group chat, presence (seeing when your contacts are online), and receiving calls from Skype users, and through SkypeIn.* Additional features, which include the making of Skype-to-Skype and SkypeOut calls from the mobile handsets, are initially supported in seven markets: Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
"These are still the early days for making Skype calls on mobile phones, but we've already made great strides in this space," said Gareth O'Loughlin, general manager, mobile and hardware devices. "Among other things, we have a great relationship with 3, the mobile operator, which has brought the mobile Skype experience to eight markets through the 3 Skypephone and a range of other packages and phones. Skype for your mobile will expand the available options even further.
"While Skype for your mobile is in beta,“ O’Loughlin added, "it is an important time for us to listen to our users‘ feedback, be it through surveys or user forums. We need to hear what delights them and where there is still work to be done. But this product underscores our commitment to innovation and to putting Skype conversations in the pockets of today’s mobile masses."
With its beta version, Skype for your mobile enters a public testing phase that will help Skype gauge the response of technology-savvy users whose feedback will help tweak the offering. This phase is expected to last several months, after which a public version of the application will be made available to millions of mobile phone owners around the world.
There are two ways to get the beta version of Skype for your mobile: as a direct over-the-air download to a compatible mobile phone, or it can be downloaded to a computer and then transferred to the phone. For instructions, please visit www.skype.com/go/mobiledownload. This Web page also includes a directory of currently supported mobile phones and the list of markets where the full feature set is available. Additional phones and markets will be added over time.
* You will not incur charges from Skype to call or chat with friends on Skype. Skype will charge its regular very low SkypeOut rates when you call friends who are not on Skype or receive calls in your mobile handset from other Skype users or over SkypeIn. When you call Skype-to-Skype or SkypeOut from your mobile, you are using mobile voice and data networks for which your mobile operator charges you for data usage and local mobile calling minutes. We highly recommend getting an unlimited data plan to use with Skype for your mobile. The mobile data network is used to sign onto Skype and to download your contacts, update presence and send/receive instant messages – so the longer you stay signed on, the more Skype contacts you have or the more you chat with another Skype user, the more you will use your mobile data plan. To keep the application lightweight, Skype for your mobile works over standard mobile voice networks connections for the first and/or last legs of Skype, SkypeOut and SkypeIn calls – and over the internet for the rest.
Users in ‘3’ territories can already get free end-to-end Skype calling and chat on the 3 Skypephone and end-to-end Skype calling at no extra cost on all compatible contract phones from the ‘3’ mobile operator, as part of their subscription. For more information, please visit www.3skypephone.com.
Millions of people every day use Skype software to communicate with others through free voice and video calls, as well as instant messages. Skype's 309 million registered users have made more than 100 billion minutes worth of free Skype-to-Skype calls. Many people also use SkypeOut or one of our global subscriptions to save money when calling landlines and mobiles at home and abroad. No longer bound to the computer, Skype conversations can also be had on a broad range of cordless handsets, mobile devices and other Skype Certified hardware. We've made it easy for Skype users to list and recommend their favourite local businesses to the rest of the community with SkypeFind. And even when you're fluent in Skype, there is always more to discover: hundreds of third-party developers have created software plug-ins to make Skype even more useful. All of this makes Skype the leading global internet communications company.
Skype is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY), and you can learn more and get Skype at www.skype.com.
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