Skype bungles software upgrade for the iPhone

Dial a number, hit the fifth digit and boom! -- Skype crashes

Take a deep breath: Skype isn't working so great on the iPhone right now. But a fix should be available by Wednesday evening in Apple's App Store.

Skype released an upgrade version 1.2 for the iPhone last Friday that added features such as call forwarding, the ability to send SMS (short message service) messages and improved quality of computer-to-computer calls, which are free.

But it appears programmers made a boo-boo with SkypeOut, the feature that allows users to call mobile or landline phones after buying prepaid credit.

The snafu occurs when dialing a number. After dialing the fifth or sixth digit, Skype crashes.

At least a dozen users have written on Skype's forum saying they've had the problem.

The problem has only affected "a small group of people," said Skype spokeswoman Sravanthi Agrawa.

"We are definitely aware of it and are working quickly to fix it," she said.

In the meantime, some users seemed to have figured out at least one fleeting, temporary fix.

That method involves uninstalling Skype, rebooting the iPhone, reinstalling Skype and then immediately rebooting the phone again. But even if that's done, the problem soon crops up again.

Skype was slow in developing an iPhone application and only released its first version in March after other VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) applications had debuted.

Last week, eBay announced it had sold much of its stake in Skype to a group of investors in a deal valued at $US2.75 billion.

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