What’s The Delay, Skype?

On July 10, 2010

FaceTimeI’m getting a little impatient.  Apple introduces the concept of FaceTime on the iPhone and now there’s even rumors of it appearing on the next iPod touch.  Handheld video chatting is close to being ubiquitous and Skype, who is a leader in the concept, has yet to update their iPhone app just for the occasion.  I’m left wondering why.

I dig Skype.  I pay annually for the service so I can send and receive calls from my Skype number.  Video chat on the iPhone should be the number one priority for the company.  FaceTime capability with only other iPhone 4 users is too restrictive to make the concept popular.  Once PC-to-iPhone (or iPod touch) video chats are possible, it will bring a whole new level of utility to the device.

To paraphrase Mr. Spock, there are two possibilities:  they are unable to upgrade their app to include the new functionality or they are unwilling to upgrade.  Since FaceTime is an open standard, it seems unlikely that they’re unable.  But why would they be unwilling?  Are they waiting for this hypothetical functionality on the iPod touch?  Are they testing the concept to insure no bugs?  Are they simply lazy?  Is it a money issue?

I don’t know the answer.  However, if some other Internet Telephony service masters this functionality well and gains enough popularity before Skype (Fring, we’re talking about you!), it could signal a shift in power and the beginning of the end for the world’s foremost Internet calling service.