Skype names new CEO – Will mobile be a priority?

Skype will name a new CEO - How big a role will mobile play?

Skype will name a new CEO - How big a role will mobile play?It looks like Skype will be swiping Cisco executive Tony Bates as its CEO and he will be heading a company which has the opportunity to be a major disruptor in the mobile space.

Skype has more than 560 registered users and about 124 million of those use the VoIP-calling service on a monthly basis. Only about 8.1 million are paying for the service but it’s still squeezed out $13 million in profits over the first six months of the year. The company has been spun off from eBay (where it never should have been in the first place) and it is planning an IPO.

We’re not IntoVoIP, we’re IntoMobile, so I have to wonder how big of an emphasis Bates will put on the mobile side of the business. Skype already has multiple apps for various platforms but its strategy will be interesting to watch.

We know that the Apple iPhone Skype app has been downloaded by millions but I’ve heard complaints that the iOS 4.0 version is darn near unusable because of the battery drain when running it in the background.

The company may find more revenue by signing exclusive deals with carriers like it has for Android and Verizon. The Skype Android app for Verizon actually uses Big Red’s voice minutes to ensure a higher level of voice quality and the cool thing is that it doesn’t use any of your monthly allotment of minutes.

That’s really good for Verizon Android users but you’re out of luck if you want to install the app on an Android phone on AT&T like the HTC Aria. Is it better for Skype to get the guaranteed revenue from Verizon or appeal to the numerous amount of Android users on all the platforms?

We’ll see what happens over the next few years, as data-ready smartphones are quickly becoming the norm and a company like Skype could be a big player.

[Via NY Times]

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