Skype plans to release a version of Skype Mobile for all carriers later this year, which would be a change from their current practice of letting Verizon Wireless phones have exclusive use of their app. Skatter Tech reached out to Skype for any word on what the addition of a front facing camera to Android phones (like the one on the EVO 4G) will mean for Skype's future, and their answer is below.
Here is the exact response from a Skype representative to Skatter Tech:
Skype envisions a world where video plays a larger role in the way we communicate. The next generation innovation involving video calling will not be bound to the computer. We’re seeing a proliferation of video calling shared between all kinds of connected devices. It’s on computers (today 1/3 of all calls on Skype happen via video), televisions (Skype bringing video calls to living rooms via Panasonic, Samsung & LG partnership), and it will eventually be coming to mobile devices too. We’re betting big on video, and we intend to set the bar on mobile video calling, and it’s something we’re going to do this year.
We will be bringing a direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace later this year. This application will be available for all consumers globally to download regardless of carriers. (i.e. similar to how we offer the iPhone app today)
– Brianna Reynaud, Skype PR
EuroDroid adds their optimism of what Skype's take on VoIP will bring, saying:
Hopefully this new app will bring proper VOIP support to the masses, everywhere, and put an end to the odd mish-mash of competing, but not really working, third-party VOIP tools out there on Android.
AndroidGuys notes the increasing importance of video calling to the Android platform, writing that "Just this week we've seen mentions of Fring and Qik for taking advantage of the camera."
Unfortunately, an update to the original story says that "Skype will definitely be releasing a “direct-to-consumer” Android App this year, however the aren’t completely disclosing whether mobile video calling is an included feature."
Image from AndroidandMe