Skype Downloaded Over One Million Times, Starts Consumer/Carrier War
When Skype for iPhone was announced back in January, we knew it would be one of the most highly anticipated apps in the App Store. We were right, with the app reaching over one million downloads just two days after it was released earlier this week. Now, however, the app has sparked a great deal of controversy, resulting in a war between carriers and consumers.
Skype for iPhone‘s speedy adoption by users is pretty impressive, especially given that it’s not the first app to hit the App Store with Skype functionality. As Peter Parkens pointed out in a post on the official Skype blog, it peaked at roughly six downloads per second.
It’s release has caused an uproar from both sides. T-Mobile, the official carrier in Germany, announced the day the app launched that they are blocking the application from being used, both physically an contractually. “It is clearly stated in our customer contracts that such services may not be used,” T-Mobile spokesperson Alexander von Schmettow told The Local. “There are two reasons for this – because the high level of traffic would hinder our network performance, and because if the Skype programme didn’t work properly, customers would make us responsible for it.”
Rogers Wireless is also blocking the app in Canada. Edit: It turns out Rogers Wireless isn’t the one to blame for the lack of Skype in Canada. Sorry, folks!
Skype responded on their blog, saying that “there is no technical justification for this arbitrary blocking of Skype, and it represents a barrier to online business put in place by a private company just because they can, because they control access to the Internet.”
In the US, where AT&T allows the use of the app over Wi-Fi, consumer advocacy groups are pushing for the right to use Skype on AT&T’s 3G network.