A BlackBerry version of the VoIP software is expected to be released at next month’s BlackBerry lovefest in Orlando, Florida.
Following this week’s highly anticipated launch of Skype for the iPhone, a BlackBerry client will join Skype’s continued assault on the smartphone market in May.
Like the fresh-baked iPhone software, Skype for BlackBerry is expected to tie into the BlackBerry’s address book so there’s no need to keep a second contact list. Calls between Skype users will be free, regardless of if they’re on a BlackBerry, iPhone, or PC. Calls to landline and mobile phones will be charged at Skype’s existing rates.
Video calls will be more of a challenge, because no BlackBerry handheld incorporates a front-facing digital camera, although BlackBerry users may be able to see the incoming video stream from the person they’re calling.
“We’re considering video carefully but we have a really high bar on the quality” said Skype Chief Operating Officer Scott Durchslag. “If we do it we will have to do it incredibly well.”
Also in common with Skype for iPhone, the BlackBerry software is likely to work only over a Wi-Fi connection rather than a 3G network.