Last week I mentioned the upcoming Skype Mobile deal with Verizon but at the time its exclusivity was unclear. Here’s a quick reminder:
At the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Verizon Wireless and Skype today announced a strategic relationship that will bring Skype to Verizon Wireless smartphones in March. The new Skype mobile™ product enhances Verizon Wireless’ smartphones for users who have data plans by offering a new way to call around the globe, while also giving hundreds of millions of Skype users around the world the opportunity to communicate with friends, family and business colleagues in the United States using Verizon Wireless.
The two companies have created an exclusive, easy-to-use Skype mobile offering for 3G smartphones.
This is a bit vague. The exclusive offering could just be a co-branded application with special features, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. According to a post over at GigaOM, there’s more to this exclusivity deal:
The deal, my sources tell me, is an exclusive partnership between the two that will last for a period of 2-3 years. No other U.S. carrier is going to get a similar Skype offering – which also bolsters my theory that Skype can help Verizon distinguish itself amongst smartphone offerings, especially the iPhone.
Since this wasn’t an official announcement by Verizon or Skype we can’t totally rely on it but you can bet it’s probably true. If that’s the case then only BlackBerry users, specifically those with a Curve 8330/8530, 8830, Storm 9530/9550 or Tour 9630, on the Verizon network will be able to enjoy the popular VoIP service.
Hey Skype, I get that an exclusive offer brings in more money (in some cases), but you do realize you’re basically saying “screw everyone else”? You’re going to let a bunch of people down, especially those that are part of the Skype beta (is that still going on?) but on a network other than Verizon. What happens to them? “Thanks for testing our application, now you have to wait about 3 years to use the official version.”
What does everyone else think about this exclusive offering?