Skype, the Internet telephone unit of eBay Inc, is planning to launch its service for iPhone users on Tuesday and for BlackBerry in May as part of its effort to expand beyond desktop computers.
Skype has been pushing to make its service work on the most popular advanced phones with an aim to expending its more than 400 million users who were mostly lured by the promise of cheap and sometimes free calls made using its computer application.
"The No. 1 request we get from customers is to make Skype available on iPhone. There's a pent-up demand," Durchslag said in an interview before the CTIA annual mobile showcase in Las Vegas, where Skype plans to launch the service on Tuesday.
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood said the new applications give Skype a chance to boost its mobile phone position, which has been weaker than that of social sites such as Facebook, Twitter or News Corp's MySpace.
One of Skype's unusual iPhone features is the fact that it allows subscribers use to the phone numbers in their existing iPhone address book so they do not need duplicate lists.
"Whether you're Twitter, MySpace or Facebook you want to be embedded in the address book," said Wood. "This puts Skype firmly into the game."
Skype's iPhone application will be free to download and will allow free calls between Skype users. As with Skype on the desktop, fees will be charged for calls to traditional phones.
The service will also work on later versions of Apple's latest iPod Touch device, which has Wi-Fi links but no cellular connection. The iPod Touch launched September 2008 has a microphone, unlike the first iPod Touch launched in 2007.