Free iPhone App for Skype launched, but not in Canada

EBay Inc., is planning to launch its Skype voice-over-internet phone service for the iPhone on Tuesday and for Research in Motion's BlackBerry handheld devices in May as part of its expansion from desktop computers to wireless devices.

But while iPhone owners around the world will be able to use the Skype application to call and message other Skype users for free using the Wi-Fi connections on their smartphones, Canadians won't be among them.

Chaim Haas, a public relations representative acting on behalf of Skype, said the application is available in every country in which the iPhone is on sale and in which Apple has an iTunes Store — with the exception of Canada.

Haas said this is because of patent-licence restrictions but would not elaborate except to specify that it is a patent issue related to Skype, not Apple.

Skype, which has more than 400 million users, is already available on Nokia phones, phones using Microsoft's Windows Mobile and phones based on Android, Google Inc.'s mobile system. But the iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry devices remain among the most popular advanced handsets.

Founded in 2003 and owned by eBay Inc. since 2005, Skype offers software that people can download and use for free in order to call other Skype users over the internet.

Continue reading @ CBC

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