Apple has been slow to fully embrace VoIP; unlike Skype who knew of its potential and that running the program in the background was key to its success on smartphones. Being able to use your handset while also knowing that someone can still contact you is of great importance.
Apple has managed to shift 50 million iPhone unties, and with 19.5 million users on Skype – there is room for improvement. This will come with iPhone OS 4.0 (see video here) and its ability to finally offer multitasking; this means that Skype will be able to run fully in the background.
Stuart Henshall has been talking on his site about how Apple looks set to shift another 50 million handsets and how it could be possible for Skype to have a reach of 100 million on the iPhone – let alone on BlackBerry and other smartphones.
Henshall believes that once iPhone OS 4.0 is released in the summer, Skype will be able to double its users overnight. This has posed a serious question over the future of telecom. The possibility of making a free call over VoIP is becoming more attractive as companies such as AT&T and Verizon improve their network. Henshall even wonders if these cell phone carriers will increase their data plans, as they know people will be demanding more from them.
However let us not fool ourselves here, Skype may not be able to increase its user database as much as it hopes – not with how people are using Facebook and other social networks to communicate with each other. For a detailed look into this, visit henshall.com