NEW YORK (Reuters) – Skype, the Internet telephone unit of eBay Inc, is planning to launch its service for iPhone users on Tuesday and for BlackBerry in May as part of its effort to expand beyond desktop computers.
Skype has been pushing to make its service work on the most popular advanced phones with an aim to expending its more than 400 million users who were mostly lured by the promise of cheap and sometimes free calls made using its computer application.
Skype Chief Operating Officer Scott Durchslag said he has high hopes for the application’s success on Apple Inc’s popular iPhone as he expects Skype’s most feature-rich mobile offering to appeal to new and existing customers.
“The No. 1 request we get from customers is to make Skype available on iPhone. There’s a pent-up demand,” Durchslag said in an interview before the CTIA annual mobile showcase in Las Vegas, where Skype plans to launch the service on Tuesday.
In May it will launch Skype for Research In Motion’s BlackBerry devices, which popularized mobile email. It has already announced Skype for Nokia phones and for phones based on Android, Google Inc’s mobile system, and Windows Mobile, from Microsoft Corp.
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood said the new applications give Skype a chance to boost its mobile phone position, which has been weaker than that of social sites such as Facebook, Twitter or News Corp’s MySpace.