In a move that will have telcos around the world squirming uncomfortably, Nokia and Skype today announced the availability of the well known Internet telephony program for the Symbian operating system.
Available for download through Nokia's Ovi Store, Symbian for Skype will work over a 3G data connection — a feature not available on the iPhone's Skype application (presumably due to annoyed telcos complaining about the potential loss in revenue).
Skype for Symbian's 3G capability means users can make free Skype-to-Skype calls, send and receive free messages and share multimedia content including images and video files whenever they have 3G data access. The app will also work over a Wi-Fi connection, provided the phone supports this feature.
"We’re seeing around 1.5 million downloads a day on Ovi Store now and believe that the Skype client for Nokia smartphones will have wide appeal to Symbian users," said Jo Harlow, Senior Vice-President for Smartphones, Nokia. "Making Skype available direct to consumers will help millions of users keep in contact with the people that are important to them without worrying about the cost, distance or whether they are away from a computer," said Russ Shaw, General Manager, Mobile at Skype.
Skype for Symbian will work with a wide range of Nokia smartphones including the N97 and N97 mini, 5800 XpressMusic, E72, E71, E63, N96, N95, 6210 Navigator and 6210 classic. For a full list of compatible Nokia smartphones, visit the Skype for Symbian page.
Skype plans to extend the Symbian client to other manufacturers using the platform including Sony Ericsson, but has not revealed when it will be available. The company is also planning to release a Skype application for the Android and BlackBerry mobile platforms.