Skype to be included on some Nokia smartphones

Thu, 02/19/2009 - 7:00am
Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) – Skype's software for making free and cheap phone calls over the Internet will be built in to some Nokia Corp. smartphones.

In a move announced this week at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, the companies said Skype will be initially integrated with Nokia's Nseries devices, which run on Nokia's Symbian S60 operating system.

The integration will start with the N97, which will be released in June. A U.S. carrier for the phone has not been announced.

The built-in Skype application will be integrated with the phone's address book, so users can see when their Skype contacts are available and make free voice calls or send instant messages to them. As with other Skype applications, users will also be able to pay to make voice calls through Skype to cell phone or landline numbers.

The application will be able to run over both high-speed 3G cellular data networks and over Wi-Fi wireless connections to the Internet.

Skype, which comes from eBay Inc., is already available as a downloadable application for a variety of operating systems and phones, including numerous Nokia products. But preloading the application "removes an inhibitor to consumers because it's already there," Skype's Chief Operating Officer Scott Durchslag said.

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