Skype have apparently tipped their plans for an incoming Android video chat app, which - unlike the current Verizon-only version of their mobile software - will be freely available regardless of carrier. According to Skatter Tech, the Skype team are looking particularly at the HTC EVO 4G, since that's one of the few Android handsets with a front-facing video camera.
"Skype envisions a world where video plays a larger role in the way we communicate. The next generation innovation involving video calling will not be bound to the computer. We’re seeing a proliferation of video calling shared between all kinds of connected devices. It’s on computers (today 1/3 of all calls on Skype happen via video), televisions (Skype bringing video calls to living rooms via Panasonic, Samsung & LG partnership), and it will eventually be coming to mobile devices too. We’re betting big on video, and we intend to set the bar on mobile video calling, and it’s something we’re going to do this year.
We will be bringing a direct to consumer app to the Android marketplace later this year. This application will be available for all consumers globally to download regardless of carriers. (i.e. similar to how we offer the iPhone app today)" Brianna Reynaud, Skype PR
Described as a "direct to consumer app", the new Skype Android software will be available later in 2010 and be accompanied by a new mobile video chat service. Skype say it will be a global launch, and we're presuming - though the company's statement edges neatly around specifics - that it will also support VoIP voice-only calls as well.
The news seems to suggest that Verizon's exclusivity deal is a relatively short-lived thing, which is unsurprising given Skype stand to be more successful in the mobile space if they can branch out onto other networks and introduce their Skype Out paid voice calls. The current app only allows for Skype-to-Skype and discounted international calls, together with IM.
[via Android Community]