Last week saw Skype CEO Josh Silverman and Verizon CMO John Stratton announce a partnership between the two companies that would bring Skype's VoIP service to Verizon's smartphones.
This would offer Verizon subscribers an easy and cheap way to make VoIP calls over Verizon's 3G network.
There have been doubts raised about Verizon's take-away from the deal, which not only appears to be heavily benefitting Skype, but could also potentially cannibalize Verizon's own income from international calls.
The move, it now appears, has been made out of Verizon's apprehensions over the threat from iPhone. According to Om Malik from GigaOm, there is a high possibility for the agreement to be an exclusive one. Malik's sources have also revealed that this partnership is likely to extend for 2-3 more years.
It is speculated that an exclusive Verizon-Skype deal could heavily dent the chances of Skype releasing an updated version of their VoIP iPhone application that works over 3G. However, you might remember recent statements from David Ponsford of the Skype iPhone team who had assured that Skype's VoIP over 3G will be coming to the iPhone "real soon". Now with an exclusive deal in place, Verizon will ensure that iPhone customers are deprived of one of their long-standing requests to use Skype's VoIP service over AT&T's 3G network.
As you might know, Apple and AT&T have already opened up their network to allow VoIP iPhone apps to work over 3G. As a result, Skype's loss could be the gain for other similar applications like Fring, which has already launched their services over 3G for iPhone customers. Users who have jailbroken their iPhone, probably don't care as they're already using jailbreak apps like VoIPOver3G to use Skype's iPhone app over carrier's 3G network. So the move by Verizon appears to have come a tad too late.
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