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Skype won't use FaceTime, still hints at iPhone 4 video chat

updated 09:35 am EDT, Wed June 9, 2010

Skype says watching FaceTime only, not using it

Skype today clarified its interest in iPhone 4 and the possibility of video chat. A spokesman said Skype was curious about FaceTime and wanted to "see how this process unfolds" but made clear that the company didn't have any near-term intention of using Apple's open video call standard for Skype chats. Its now confirmed earlier remarks were simply about getting the "best possible experience" for video calls on the iPhone app, the company told Electronista.

The remarks have Skype cool on FaceTime as a complementary format to Skype's existing codecs but do point to Skype hoping to implement video chat on the iPhone. It currently has limited support for video on Maemo phones and would get a significant boost by expanding to Apple's platform. With the exception of the Evo 4G, Android phones don't typically have front cameras and wouldn't have the option; Qik is currently the only mainstream solution.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. rtamesis

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2000

    0

    Copycats

    In other words, they want to copy how Apple executed Facetime video calls so that they can make their own video calls just as simple.

  1. Wingsy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    +3

    Missing the Boat

    Too bad, Mr. Skype. You'll be missing a very very big boat.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    -5

    the followers

    I could see the next batches of HTC and Android phones will have front camera and, of course, with Android 3.0 that runs only on the newest hardware. If Apple put a Swiss knife in their iPhone, HTC and Android phones will be the "me, too."

    Wonder what iPhone 5 is going to have? A built-in projector? or built-in Flash accelerator chip made by Apple/Adobe? I'll not surprise if Steve incorporate custom Flash chip in the iPhone down the road. The last time I heard Steve saying that they were not going to make video iPod, a phone.... etc .... yeah, right.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +2

    They know what they're doing. For a company that provides a complete communication platform like Skype, their bread-and-butter lies in tying their users to their network and milking them for money wherever possible. If they were to interoperate with other 3rd party networks, then nothing would be tying their users to that particular network, and they would expose themselves to competitors. It would have been extremely surprising to see a Skype client that could have video calls with people using 3rd party clients. Today, Skype has a captive userbase of tens of millions of users, even reaching ubiquity in certain parts of Europe, and they would be extremely foolish to throw away the advantage they have in network effect thanks to their popular usage.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    @WiseWeasel

    They know what they're doing. For a company that provides a complete communication platform like Skype, their bread-and-butter lies in tying their users to their network and milking them for money wherever possible. If they were to interoperate with other 3rd party networks, then nothing would be tying their users to that particular network, and they would expose themselves to competitors.

    Right. And the problem is what? Skype spends a lot of money on their software, network, etc. Why should they just allow anyone to come in and use their service? So they can be driven out of business?

    And FaceTime is just another normal Apple play. They are minor players in an area, so they try to push some 'open' standard to which they can then claim everyone else is proprietary.

    However, in the areas where Apple is the proprietary standard, everything is kept close to the vest and closed, for fear of people moving to other platforms or the like. You know, like their DRM for music and videos. Or the entire AppStore.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +3

    @testudo

    Obviously Apple protects their interests in a similar way. I'm not making a value judgment on Skype's decision, simply stating that it makes good business sense, and is not unexpected in any way. Companies exist to make money and continue existing, not to spread love and marshmallow-flavored unicorns. Apple has their reasons for doing the stuff they do, and Skype has their own. I'm just saying that this decision by Skype is not unusual in any way.

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