• Skype Walks Back 3G FaceTime Support

    A quote from an anonymous source suggesting that Skype would implement FaceTime video calling was "clarified" by a company representative today. The spokesperson told Electronista that Skype wants to "see how this process unfolds" but remains interested in bringing 3G video chat capabilities to its iPhone app, similar to the two-way video calling functionality in the Skype app for the Nokia N900 phone.

    Stuart Miles had reported on his Pocket-lint blog about a conversation he'd had with an anonymous contact inside Skype who told him the company "would welcome the opportunity to work with Apple" on implementing FaceTime support inside its iPhone app. With Apple allowing only limited, WiFi-only usage of FaceTime natively under iOS 4, these comments raised hopes that Skype might build video calling into its iPhone app, which allows supporting (temporarily) free calls over 3G. Even stronger hints came from the anonymous source's further comment that it wanted to bring FaceTime calling "not only to our many millions of Skype users on iPhone around the world, but also to the countless more making video calls on desktops, TVs and other connected devices."

    That enthusiasm got a big pail of cold water dumped on it by another Skype spokesperson, who confirmed the prior statements, but limited them by saying they only referred to Skype's desire to provide the "best possible experience" of video calling to Skype users. The "process" referred to Steve Jobs's plan - presented at the keynote address on Monday - to make FaceTime an open standard for video calling that could be supported by multiple devices and manufacturers. No timetable has yet been announced for a release of the FaceTime specification, which is built on existing standards like h.264, AAC, SIP, STUN, TURN, ICE, RTP, and SRTP.
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