I stumbled across Skype Lite today. It took them long enough to launch a version of their calling app for the most obvious of target devices, the mobile phone. Sure there has been a Windows Mobile version for a while now, but I’m not a big fan of Microsoft’s mobile efforts. The new ‘true’ mobile version runs on Java enabled phones, so probably on yours as well.
Fring and Nimbuzz (I recommend the latter) have been offering free ‘skype calls’ (by which I mean voice calls over data networks) for a while now, so the real kicker is that Skype itself does not seem to allow that. At least not for free. And free calls is what Skype is all about, right?
Skype has been having a hard time turning a profit, so I can understand what they would be moving away from free services. And with flat-fee 3G being the norm, network operators aren’t very likely to sponsor their efforts for potentially causing loads of traffic. But how on earth are they going to overcome the competitive disadvantage? Both of Skype’s main rivals do the same thing for free, and offer more features.
Should you still want to try the Skype Lite beta, the java client runs very nicely on my Nokia E51, even though it’s not listed on the website as being compatible. I downloaded the E61 version instead and the only minor issue is that the splash screen is wider that the E51’s display. No biggie.